First Aid: Stings

Participants enrolled in workplace approved emergency and standard childcare first aid courses will learn to recognize and provide care for patients with stings. Wasps, bee’s and mosquito’s are the most typical stinging insects. This article will focus mainly on bee and wasp stings as they can require additional treatment. Stings may be treated and managed at a basic first aid level unless the patients situation worsens or the patient exhibits signs of allergic reaction / anaphylaxis. With allergic reactions the patient will likely require immediate medical attention and emergency medical services (EMS). Stings that also occur inside the mouth and throat and multiple stings can also be dangerous and require EMS. Stings inside the mouth or throat and multiple stings can cause constriction of the airway and sudden loss of consciousness. Furthermore, stings in young children and infants will require immediate medical attention. The material posted on this page is for information purposes only. To learn to recognize and provide care for patients with stings take a emergency or standard childcare first aid course.

Using an Epi-Pen During Anaphylactic Shock

Using an Epi-Pen During Anaphylactic Shock

Signs and Symptoms of Stings

  • Localized pain
  • Bruising and redness
  • Shock
  • Allergic reaction / Anaphylaxis

Management of Stings:

The rescuer should determine if the stinger or poison sac has been embedded in the skin which is a common occurrence for many insects like wasps.  The rescuer should not take out the stinger with his or her fingers as it will cause more venom to enter the patient. Rescuer should remove the stinger or poison sac with a sterile needle if available. If a sterile needle is not available a credit card can be used to carefully “scrape” the stinger or poison sac off. Similar to allergic reactions, the poison can cause a local release of histamine which can be treated with commercially available antihistamines. Local application of ice can help limit swelling. The wound should be treated with a initial cleaning with mild soap and water, applying a preparation containing aluminum salt (BuroSol) and applying a ice pack. Medication should not be administered or prescribed to a patient.

For more information on recognizing and providing care for patients with stings take a workplace approved childcare first aid class.

Watch the Video Below to Learn More About Managing Stings