FIRST AID FACT SHEET

First aid for insect bites and stings

Insects such as bees, wasps, ticks and ants inject venom directly into the body by either biting or stinging the victim.

Most insect bites and stings are relatively minor but can be painful and have serious effects if the casualty has an allergic reaction.

What to do

  1. Follow DRSABCD St John Action Plan
  2. Bee/wasp sting: remove the sting by scraping sideways with fingernail or sharp object.
  3. Tick bite: If any signs of allergic reaction or casualty has a known allergy - DO NOT remove the tick.
    If any signs of allergic reaction or casualty has a known allergy - the tick must be killed where it is rather than removed, if you have the appropriate equipment to do so. This should be performed in a safe place with medical aid.
  4. Apply a cold pack directly over the bite site to relieve pain.
  5. Monitor casualty and seek medical aid if necessary.
  6. If severe allergic reaction, call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance. If the casualty is carrying their own adrenaline auto-injector (EpiPen®) it should be given immediately.

    Caused by

    • Bites or stings from an insect.

    Signs and symptoms

    • Pain at the site (sometimes extreme).
    • Swelling and redness
    • Muscle weakness (tick bite)
    • Difficulty in breathing and swallowing
    • Itchy and painful blisters.