Archive for the ‘First Aid’ Category

Spider: The Yellow Sac Spider Bite- First Aid Tips

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Getting a bite from a yellow sac spider sounds much worse than it really is, unless you are allergic. Any kind of bite seems to terrify people and for good reason, some insect venoms are very poisonous. Luckily, the yellow sac spider has venom that is not as poisonous as other insects or spiders. Many people confuse the bite from a yellow sac spider with the bite from a brown recluse spider, which is much more poisonous. The initial symptoms are very similar. The problem is that later on if the symptoms become more severe, you know it was a brown recluse and not a yellow sac spider. Many times because of the similar symptoms, the bite of a brown recluse spider is misdiagnosed as a yellow sac spider. This has resulted in the yellow sac spider being known for being one of the most common spider bites people get in the United Sates.

If you are bitten by a yellow sac spider there are some basic first aid steps to follow. Other than the symptoms that become apparent these steps can be used to help relieve the pain etc. in any occurrence of a spider bite.

  • Bites often occur in bed when the yellow sac spider gets stuck in the sheets. Also, when hiding in things like the couch, shoes, or clothes.
  • When a person gets bit they will feel a sharp pain, similar to the pain one would get from a wasp sting.
  • The bite mark will become red and filled with puss within eight hours of the bite happening.
  • Clean the bite with hydrogen peroxide.
  • Apply an antiseptic like iodine.
  • Ice the bite mark, and also elevate the area that has been bitten.
  • Other physical side affects symptoms people will start to have can be nausea, fever, skin necrosis, and stomach cramps.
  • If these symptoms are present go to a doctor as soon as possible, as there is a chance of being allergic to the yellow sac spider’s venom.
  • If at all possible take the spider that bit you to the doctor for a proper diagnosis.
  • The red mark will harden as it heals, and can take up to a few weeks to do so.
  • While the bite is healing make sure to keep it extremely clean. Clean it thoroughly on a daily basis so that it does not get infected. If necessary, go to your doctor for an antibiotic to help as well.

Yellow Jacket: First Aid For a Yellow Jacket Sting

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Like bee stings, the yellow jacket is the most harmful to a person if they are allergic to the yellow jacket’s venom. Overall the first aid for a bee sting or a yellow jacket sting is very similar. If you see a yellow jacket near you and fear being stung do not try to swat at it nor get up right away to take cover. Any kind of fast unexpected movement could actually make the yellow jacket sting you. The best things to do are slowly put your hands over your face and wait or get up slowly and go indoors or somewhere secure. Of course not being stung is the best scenario anyone could ask for, but there is a chance it could happen. The one differentiating factor of bees and yellow jackets is actually the most terrifying thing about their stings. Yellow jackets can sting a person over and over again because their stinger has no barbs, and they travel in groups. So there is a high risk of being stung, and then possibly getting stung multiple times. If you are unable to protect yourself and get stung there are a few basic steps to follow to help with the pain.

  • Venom will be released into the sting while it happens. If allergic there may be a strong reaction.
  • Reaction will appear within 20 minutes to two hours.
  • No matter if you’re allergic or not the sting will be painful and will swell up and turn red.
  • Allergic symptoms that one would experience are a rash, difficulty breathing, difficulties swallowing, cough, tightness of chest, and or slurred speech.
  • If any of these symptoms become present it is best to go to a doctor immediately.
  • If you are stung and are not allergic or symptoms have not become apparent, apply a poultice made up of some form of meat tenderizer to the wound to help with the inflammation.
  • Take an antihistamine to reduce the reaction from the sting.
  • If these steps do not help go to a doctor as soon as you can to help aid the sting.

Spider Bites: Basic First Aid

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

There are tons of spiders out in this world, and many times people get bitten and don’t know what to do. Whether you’re at home, camping, hiking, working on your car, or washing your car there is a possibility of being bitten by a spider. Here in the U.S. there are two spider bites that need to be taken very seriously, as they are the most dangerous of all spiders

The bites of the black widow and the brown recluse spider are the most threatening and dangerous to people. There are cases where people are allergic to spider venom and might not be aware of it until they are bitten. That is why all spider bites need to be taken seriously.

Keeping in mind that no matter what kind of spider bites you, you need to act fast and aid the bite. If you are unaware of the type of spider or if you are allergic it would be best to go to a doctor after doing basic first aid, just in case. Here are the basic first aid steps to help your bite:

  • Clean bite mark with soap and water.
  • Apply a cold compress, on and off.
  • Apply a bandage to the bite mark.
  • Elevate the bitten area.
  • Take acetaminophen for any pain.
  • If a child or elderly person has been bitten, they should be taken to a hospital immediately.
  • If you identify the spider as a black widow or a brown recluse seek medical attention immediately.
  • If you feel extremely ill after being bitten there is a chance you are allergic, get to a hospital right away.
  • If you can, catch the spider (dead or alive) that bit you and put it in a jar or container. This will help the doctor positively identify the spider in order to know more about your bite.

Every spider bite will have a slight variation in what symptoms will appear afterward, but it is good to know what the symptoms of a black widow and brown recluse bite are. Since the black widow and brown recluse spiders are the most dangerous to people, it is an excellent safety precaution to know what you’ll feel if bitten by a black widow or brown recluse spiders. Here are some of the symptoms that each spiders bite cause.

  • Black Widow: pain and swelling of the bitten area, headache, dizziness, weakness usually in the legs, heavy sweating, nausea, muscle cramps, possible paralysis, itching, and vomiting.
  • Brown recluse: pain, itching, burning, and redness of the bitten area, fever, headache, muscle ache, and nausea. Also the bite mark will turn into a black blister.

Remember that all spider bites can be harmful to people. Use these tips in any case of a spider bite. Also always try to catch the spider that bit you, just in case you are allergic to it, and if you can’t catch it hopefully you can tell the doctor what it looked like. In any case every spider bite needs to be taken seriously, and act fast to help aid the bite.

Ticks – Removing a Tick from a Bite

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Tick bites need to be taken very seriously. There are simple steps to removing a tick from a bite. Although many times people have received a bite from a tick and are unaware they have been bitten, so there is no process of removing the tick. Anytime someone knows they have been bit by a tick they should act on the cautious side, as ticks are the carriers of many diseases. If you are unaware that you were bit and develop flu-like symptoms and are unsure why, it is best to go to a doctor, just in case. Even if you know that you were bit by a tick flu-like symptoms are still a side effect, it is only later that they may develop into something worse.

If you are bit by a tick and remove it you should keep the tick, just in case a week or so later you become ill. Keeping the tick will help your doctor figure out what could be wrong. Removing a tick is simple, but tricky as its mouth parts are embedded in the skin. Here is how to remove a tick:

  • Put gloves on.
  • Get tweezers to assist in the removal, do no use your fingers because you might squeeze the tick.
  • Put the tweezers as close as you can to the ticks head.
  • Forcefully pull straight forward, yanking the tick away from the skin.
  • Do not twist and or turn the tick when pulling.
  • Sometimes the mouth parts may stay embedded in the skin, if so take your tweezers and remove them. If they seem too deep it is best to go to a doctor to have them removed.
  • Once the tick is removed put it in a container with some alcohol, to kill it. Keep the tick in the container in case you become ill later.
  • Some people will just flush the tick down the toilet; it’s up to the individual.
  • Clean the bite mark thoroughly.
  • Put an antibiotic cream on the mark to help prevent an infection, although it will not help prevent any diseases the tick might have spread.
  • Make sure all items used during the removal process have either been thrown out or cleaned thoroughly.

Ticks also bite pets, like dogs and cats, if you are to find a tick on your pet these same steps can be used in removing the tick. Whether it’s a bite on a person or a pet, make sure to keep an eye on the bite mark for up to two weeks. During this time a disease may have been transmitted. For people it is also important to pay close attention to the symptoms they might develop.

Black Widow Spider Bites First Aid

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Black widow spider bites can be very scary. Although it might not sound comforting, it’s rare that a black widow bite is deadly. The black widow bite is more harmful to children and elderly people. In any case, a bite victim should be taken to a hospital for professional help as there are many uncomfortable side-effects from the poison.

Sometimes people might not realize they have been bitten by a black widow. There are some effects from the bite that will become obvious once you’ve been bitten. Just because you didn’t feel it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Here’s a list symptoms that could occur:

  • If you saw the bite happen check the area where the spider was, 2 red spots will appear from the bite. If you didn’t see the spider bite you, you should be able to find the spot from the itching that will develop.
  • The pain will move through your body from the bite mark but it will mainly affect your back and/or abdomen.
  • Swelling can occur in some areas of your body such as the bite mark, your feet and even your eyelids.
  • The poison that the black widow spider carries will also affect your nervous system.
  • Additional side-effects that can occur include:
    • Tightness or pain in your chest or muscles
    • Nausea
    • Heavy sweating
    • Weakness, most often in your legs
    • Itching
    • Vomiting

Since the black widow is poisonous you can call Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center at 1-800-362-0101.

Again this can be very scary and overwhelming, but try to stay calm and get yourself or the bite victim to the nearest hospital. If you have to wait for an ambulance, or for any reason can not get to a hospital, follow these simple steps to help aid the bite:

  • Clean the bite mark with soap and water.
  • Elevate the area that has been bitten to the level of your heart.
  • Put some antibiotic cream or lotion on the mark.
  • Apply a cold compress.

Bees: Killer bee stings first aid

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

If you get stung by a killer bee the first thing to do is stay calm, well at least as calm as you can. There are a couple scenarios that you could be in. First, if there are still bees trying to sting you take cover. Try to block your head and run to a safe place. If you are near your home or car, run there as fast as you can. If there is a pool near by do not run and jump into it. Killer bees like water and will just wait for you to come up for air, take cover in a structure not a body of water. If you are outside and there is nothing near you just keep running, it may take some time but it is your best option. There is a chance you can out run the bees. Do not by any mean drop and play dead, you will just be attacked. The other situation you could find yourself in is maybe camping, as this recreation seems to be a frequent place of bee attacks. Run into your tent, cabin, trailer or car as fast as you can. Once you have made it to a safe location here are the next steps:

  • Do you know if you’re allergic to bee stings? If you are unsure these are the symptoms you will feel itching, body rash, burning, body swelling, difficulty breathing, nausea, shock, weakness or becoming unconscious. Hopefully you are not alone and someone can take you to your doctor or the local ER.
  • After finding where the sting is you notice you have more than one take a quick count. If you have over a dozen go to your doctor or the local ER.
  • Now that you know where the sting is keep it under the area of your heart as best as you can. So if it is on your hand keep it towards the ground and do no put it upwards, above your heart.
  • When looking at the sting is the stinger still in your skin? If not that’s great. Unfortunately if it is still in your skin the venom could still be in the stinger. Do not use tweezers or do not squeeze the sting this could cause the venom to go into the sting wound.
  • Take the stinger out by using your finger nail, a credit card or even a knife; push it out of the wound.
  • Once the wound is stinger free get a cold compress and apply it to help with the swelling and the pain.
  • There could be some itching, it does not mean you are allergic, but keep it in mind. The itching should go away after a few hours. If it is continuing still go to your doctor or local ER.
  • If you are stung a few times repeat for each sting wound.

Scorpions: How to Treat a Scorpion Sting

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Taking care of a scorpion sting sounds very intimidating, but it really can be done very easily. The main thing to do is remain calm. Death rates from scorpion stings are very low, especially in places where scorpions are common like Arizona. Places in the Southwest have vaccines available if the sting is bad. Many times people do not need to be hospitalized, the ones that do are normally children or the elderly. No matter what age you are, here are the steps to take if you are stung by a scorpion:

  • Wash the area where the sting mark is, use soap and water.
  • Get a compress, ice in a cloth, and apply it to the sting. Keep it on for 10 minutes and then remove for 10 minutes, and keep repeating as needed.
  • Usually people are stung on their hands or feet so this is a simple step, but there are cases where a limb could be stung. If your arm of leg has been stung keep it elevated while icing it.
  • Take a pain reliever like acetaminophen, avoid ibuprofen and aspirin.

If you are unsure about the sting you can always call the Banner Poison Control Center Hotline at 1-800-222-1222 for more information regarding your sting.

In some cases you could also have symptoms of a burning sensation at the sting mark, swelling, itching, numbness or tingling, and or sensitivity to touch. These are all common affects from a scorpion sting, but if you are unsure it would be best to go to a medical professional at this time.

Being that the Arizona bark scorpion is the most venomous type of scorpion there is an antivenin that can be used if necessary. Fortunately, Arizona residents have greater access to the antivenin then other parts of the country due to the state being home to many bark scorpions. In the case of a sting, especially in a child or elder, the antivenin can be a life saver. In most other cases life is not threatened, unless there is an allergic reaction which is not very common.