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First Aid & Emergencies

Treatment of Bee and Wasp Stings

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Medical Treatment for Bee and Wasp Stings continued...

If you have a more moderate allergic reaction such as a rash all over the body and some mild problems breathing, you will likely receive injections of antihistamines, steroids, and epinephrine. Some of these treatments may be started at the scene or in the ambulance by emergency medics. You will likely need to be observed for a prolonged period of time in the emergency department or in some cases be admitted to the hospital.

If you have a severe allergic reaction such as low blood pressure, swelling blocking air getting into the lungs, or other serious problems breathing, you have a true life-threatening emergency. Treatment may include placing a breathing tube into your trachea. You will likely be given injections of antihistamines, steroids, and epinephrine. Intravenous fluids may also be given. Some of these treatments may start at the scene or in the ambulance. You will be closely monitored in the emergency department and likely be admitted to the hospital -- perhaps the intensive care unit.

With multiple stings -- more than 10-20 -- but no evidence of an allergic reaction, you may still need prolonged observation in the emergency department or admission to the hospital. At that point, the doctor may order multiple blood tests. 

If you are stung inside the mouth or throat, you may may need to remain in the emergency department for observation, or you may need more intensive management if complications develop.

If you are stung on the eyeball, you will likely need to be evaluated by an eye doctor.

WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on May 04, 2014
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