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Treat Stings

Important Information

Suspect a venomous sting when a venomous creature is nearby or patient's state that they've been bitten or stung; If possible and safe to do so, get a good look at the creature or try to capture it for positive identification, however do not take time away from patient care or put yourself at risk


The reaction to the venom may depend on the patient's size, current health, previous exposure, body chemistry, location of the bite or sting and how much venom was injected; Some people have severe allergic reactions (Anaphylactic Reaction) to even minor bites or stings, such as Bee Stings


A person bitten by a venomous spider may suffer in severe pain, redness and heat at the bite site along with abdominal pain and muscle cramps or twitching, confusion, coma, and copious secretion of saliva; They may also complain of headaches, nausea, difficulty breathing and dizziness; Profuse sweating and extremity numbness may occur with tingling around the mouth; Often, these symptoms do not happen for more than an hour after a bite


Many aquatic life stings result in burning or sharp pain at the sting site also with swelling or a red rash or welts; These sufferers may experience shock, unconsciousness, respiratory difficulty or arrest, weakness, nausea and vomiting


Some stings by venomous creatures result in no venom being injected into the victim and may cause only minor irritation; However, because the symptoms may be delayed, encourage the patient to seek professional medical follow up to prevent further disability


Treat any sting by a highly venomous creature as a medical emergency and follow primary care procedures


Treat any sting that produces a deep wound, or alters the patient's breathing or consciousness level, as a medical emergency and follow primary care procedures


If possible, contact your local Poison Control Center for directions while waiting for EMS to arrive


For many venomous stings, use pressure immobilization to slow the spread of the venom