Home > Personal Protection > Bee/Wasp Stings & Anaphylactic Shock

Bee/Wasp Stings & Anaphylactic Shock

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 22 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Bee Stings Wasp Stings Anaphylactic

An anaphylactic reaction can be caused by being stung by a bee or a wasp if the person who is stung is allergic to the venom. As bees in particular, leave the stinger containing the poisonous sac embedded in the skin, the sooner you can remove the stinger, the less chance you have of suffering an allergic reaction.

However, if you suspect someone has gone into anaphylactic shock, it’s important to get them to hospital immediately. Some people who are only too aware of their allergy to bee and wasp stings will carry a syringe with them containing ephinephrine which is basically adrenaline which you can inject into the fleshy part of their thigh but they should advise you about this so that you know what to do in the event that they are stung.

However, there may be an occasion when somebody you’re with is stung and neither of you are aware that they have an allergy to bee or wasp stings so you, too, should also be aware of the symptoms of anaphylaxis, even if you’re not a sufferer yourself.

Symptoms
These can include a burning or tingling sensation on the skin, particularly to the extremities such as your fingers. People can also develop hives on their body. However, the problems become much more severe if the victim starts to suffer from breathing difficulties. Their airway can start to constrict which, in the early stages, might result in a lack of oxygen being able to reach to the brain. This often means that the victim may start to become mentally confused and they may start acting irrationally and can start experiencing severe anxiety and feelings of doom.

It may also result in a rapid drop in blood pressure and, in severe cases, the lack of oxygen, as their airway constricts even more, can cause respiratory failure which in turn can lead to the victim falling unconscious, experiencing a heart attack and can cause irreparable damage to the brain and other vital organs.

Other less severe symptoms can include nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting and cramping. It should be noted that the symptoms experienced will differ from person to person and some people who are allergic to stings will only experience some of the more minor symptoms. However, anaphylaxis can be life threatening and it’s important that epinephrine is administered as quickly as possible.

Treatment
Epinephrine (adrenaline), usually injected into a fleshy area of the thigh, is the only real counteraction to anaphylaxis. It makes the blood vessels contract, preventing any further fluid leaks and it relaxes the airways which makes breathing easier. Even if the victim carries epinephrine with them and injects themselves or is able to get you to inject them, the effects of the medication only last 10 or 20 minutes for each injection so it’s important that you still call for an ambulance or take the victim to hospital yourself. The medication will also relieve any cramping symptoms the victim might be experiencing and stops hives and itching.

Once they are in hospital, the victim might be given oxygen to improve breathing and may also be given intravenous fluids which will help in restoring their blood pressure back to normal levels. They may also be given other medications to counteract the effects of histamine and to prevent any further allergic reaction which might be delayed.

The crucial thing to remember if you know you’re at risk from suffering anaphylaxis is to wear an appropriate medical tag around your neck so that medical professionals can be alerted to the symptoms far more quickly and to carry an auto-injector containing epinephrine (often called an ‘Ana-Pen or ‘Epi-pen’) around with you and know how to use it.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • SafeGardening
    Re: Dangerous Plants To Pets
    Ems - Your Question:We have a protection order on a yew tree in our garden, we have lived here for nearly a year, and seen a whole year…
    23 January 2018
  • Ems
    Re: Dangerous Plants To Pets
    We have a protection order on a yew tree in our garden, we have lived here for nearly a year, and seen a whole year of the effects the…
    20 January 2018
  • Eclipse
    Re: Secateurs and Shears
    Interesting and educative.Keep it up
    19 November 2017
  • SafeGardening
    Re: Can Neighbour Spray Weedkiller Into My Garden?
    McCarty Out - Your Question:We have lived here for 16 years and prior to our neighbors of approximately 3…
    18 September 2017
  • McCarty Out
    Re: Can Neighbour Spray Weedkiller Into My Garden?
    We have lived here for 16 years and prior to our neighbors of approximately 3 years moving in, our back…
    15 September 2017
  • SafeGardening
    Re: Can Neighbour Spray Weedkiller Into My Garden?
    Hamra - Your Question:Just prior to moving into our house, one of our new neighbours cut down a boundary…
    11 September 2017
  • Hamra
    Re: Can Neighbour Spray Weedkiller Into My Garden?
    Just prior to moving into our house, one of our new neighbours cut down a boundary hedge. They ignored all…
    9 September 2017
  • SafeGardening
    Re: Safe Pesticide Use
    Raine - Your Question:My neighbour has weeds at least 5ft high at top of his garden & has today with a watering can thrown 4 large cans full of…
    5 July 2017
  • Raine
    Re: Safe Pesticide Use
    My neighbour has weeds at least 5ft high at top of his garden & has today with a watering can thrown 4 large cans full of weed killer over them…
    4 July 2017
  • fed up resident
    Re: Bonfire Safety
    I received a letter of complaint last Saturday stating I lit a nuisance bonfire in my garden. I have never lit a bonfire in my garden in the 23…
    2 July 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the SafeGardening website. Please read our Disclaimer.