First Aid for 5 Common Bites and Stings

Bites and stings come in many types and forms, so the procedures and treatments are needed depending on the causative agent as well as the condition of the patient. There are some animal species that can bring more damage and harm as compared to the others. Some people may tend to have allergies which greatly increase the risk and severity of the reactions. You need to recognize the symptoms first before applying the proper care and first aid for bites and stings to prevent further problems from occurring.

Insects

An insect bite is a common scenario that may be experienced by everyone. This may be due to an attack by a bee, bug, ant, wasp, fly, or mosquito. It usually leads to allergic reactions, either mild or severe, when your body reacts to the venom or proteins that are being transferred by the insect through their saliva.

Symptoms

Mild reactions may lead to swelling of the bite area, redness, itching, and pain. While severe reactions may cause abdominal cramps, vomiting, nausea, and breathing problems.

First Aid

•   Gently remove the embedded insect stinger in the skin by scraping it off with a flat-edged object such as credit cards. Never use tweezers since squeezing the affected area can release more venom.

•    Immediately wash the affected area with soap and water.

•  Reduce pain and swelling by placing an ice pack or a cold compress on the affected area for 10 minutes. When using an ice pack, wrap the ice in a clean cloth to protect the skin.

•   Lessen the pain and itching by applying calamine lotion or baking soda paste on the affected areas. This can be done several times a day.

When to seek emergency care

Emergency services and care should be given when severe allergic reactions are already affecting multiple parts of the body shortly after a person is being bitten by insects. This is known as anaphylaxis. Immediate attention and first aid for bites and stings should be given since this condition can be life-threatening.

Spiders

When talking about first aid for bites and tings, spider bites should not be ignored, although bites caused by most spiders are relatively safe and harmless. You should know there are some species of spiders that can cause more serious allergic reactions. These include the black widow and the brown recluse spiders. Proper identification of the species is important to determine the appropriate treatment that should be applied.

Symptoms

Mild reactions may include pain, swelling, redness, and itching of the affected area. While severe reactions can lead to fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and occurrence of rashes.

First Aid

•    Wash the affected or the bite area with soap and water.

•   Apply a cold compress or ice pack for about 10 to 15 minutes to lessen the pain, discomfort, and swelling. Be sure to wrap the ice in a clean cloth for skin protection.

•    Apply calamine lotion or baking soda paste on the affected area to alleviate the pain and itching.

When to seek emergency care

Emergency services and care should be given when the person is suspected to be bitten by a black widow or a brown recluse spider. The black widow spider can cause nervous system problems while the brown recluse spiders can cause skin damage.

Snakes

Some snake bites can be harmless and safe. However, when poisonous snake species such as copperhead, coral, rattlesnake, and cottonmouth bite you, these can be very deadly and lethal, and first aid for bites and stings for this condition should be kept in mind when you are living in an area with a lot of snakes.

Symptoms

The reaction of snake bite may lead to dizziness, weakness, fainting, nausea, vomiting, swelling of the affected area, convulsions, diarrhea, rapid pulse, and loss of muscle coordination.

First Aid

•    Apply pressure in the affected area to help stop bleeding. This can be done with the use of gauze or a clean cloth.

•    Clean the area of the bite with soap and water.

•    Apply antibiotic cream to the bite area to help lessen the risk of infections.

•    Protect the wound by covering it with a sterile bandage or gauze until it heals.

When to seek emergency care

Emergency services and care should be given when the suspected causative agent is a poisonous snake. Immediate medical help should also be given when the person is experiencing severe bleeding.

Jellyfish

A sting caused by jellyfish is a problem commonly experienced by divers and swimmers of the seawaters. This occurs when venom from the numerous jellyfish stingers are injected into the body. It may vary in severity depending on the type and size of the causative agent as well as the health condition of the person being bitten.

Symptoms

Mild reactions can cause burning sensation, colored tracks on the skin, swelling, itching, and throbbing pain. While severe reactions lead to stomach pain, muscle pain, headache, weakness, breathing problems, and even heart problems. Keep reading to learn first aid for bites and stings caused by jellyfish if you experience these symptoms.

First Aid

•    Rinse the sting area with vinegar.

•    Gently pluck the visible tentacles using clean and fine tweezers.

•    Soak the affected area in a hot water for about 20 to 45 minutes.

When to seek emergency care

Emergency services and care should be given when severe symptoms are already experienced. These may occur rapidly or hours after the sting.

Stonefish

Stonefish sting is usually experienced by sea lovers. This species lives in the tropical waters and are considered to be a prized fish in the aquarium. However, the fins of these fish carry poisonous venom which can be very lethal and dangerous.

Symptoms

Stonefish stings can cause swelling, breathing problems, irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, bleeding, pain, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fever, fainting, seizures, and even paralysis.

First Aid

•    Wash the affected area with soap and water.

•    Remove any debris of sand and other particles from the wound area.

•    Soak the affected area in hot water for about 30 to 90 minutes.

When to seek emergency care

Emergency services and care should be given immediately since the stonefish venom is very poisonous. This can easily spread in the body within minutes and cause severe breakdown and even death.

 
 
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