Avoiding More Bites |
* The first thing that should be done for a victim is to move away from the area so that more bites are avoided. The more bites and stings that are experienced, the greater the likelihood of experiencing severe reactions. Try as best as possible to get the victim to a place where no more ants can make contact, and do whatever it takes to get ants off their skin, including submersion in water if possible.
Cleanse Bite Area
* Clean the area of the bites as best you can depending on where you are when the bites occur. If you can easily and quickly get to soap and water, use those to clean the area thoroughly before applying first aid. If you cannot get to soap, use plain water. If you can cannot get to water, any beverage that is non-citrus-based like fruit juices will do until you can get to water. Because an allergic reaction to ant bites means that blisters will probably appear rapidly, it is important to understand that you need to avoid coming into contact with the blisters as much as you can; at the very least make sure you do not pop the blisters as this can increase the infection risk. Disinfect and Remove Venom * Rubbing alcohol is the best thing to use for quick disinfection of the bites so that the risk of infection is reduced. If you know the person is allergic to ant venom, your first instinct should be to get him to the emergency room. If possible, use a venom extractor immediately to remove as much venom as possible. This will reduce the potential for anaphylactic shock. Essentially, extractors work on the same principle as all those scenes from movies where you see someone sucking the poison out of another person, only the extractor is a far healthier way to do it. Antihistamine * Give the patient an antihistamine. If the patient is known to be allergic, give him epinephrine. This will serve not only to reduce the severity of the itching, but also to reduce fever. If the person is not known to be allergic to ant bites but begins to exhibit symptoms like dizziness, nausea, difficulty breathing and extreme swelling, you should immediately get him to the emergency room or call 911. Allergies to Insect Stings Bee, wasp, yellow jacket, hornet, or fire ant stings are the insect stings that most often trigger allergies. However, most people are not allergic to insect stings and may mistake a normal sting reaction for an allergic reaction. By knowing the difference, you can prevent unnecessary worry and visits to the doctor.
The severity of an insect sting reaction varies from person to person.
There are three types of reactions -- normal, localized, and allergic:
* A normal reaction will result in pain, swelling, and redness around the sting site.
* A large local reaction will result in swelling that extends beyond the sting site. For example, a person stung on the ankle may have swelling of the entire leg. While it often looks alarming, it is generally no more serious than a normal reaction.
* The most serious reaction to an insect sting is an allergic one (described below). This condition requires immediate medical attention.
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