Insect bite first aid
FIRST AID FACT SHEET
First aid for insect bites and stings
Most insect bites and stings result in a localised itch and swelling that settles within a few days. Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) from insects are usually due to bees, wasps or the Australian Jack Jumper ant.
What to do
- Follow DRSABCD St John Action Plan
- Bee/wasp sting: remove the sting by scraping sideways with fingernail or sharp object.
- 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.
- Apply a cold pack directly over the bite site to relieve pain.
- Monitor casualty and seek medical aid if necessary.
- 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.
- 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.