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Author Topic: When should one carry epinephrine for bee stings?  (Read 1932 times)

Offline CliffordK

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Ok,

I got stung today at the base of my index finger.  As the area around the sting started swelling within the first half hour, I took some Loratadine (non-drowsy antihistamine tabs).  This evening, I'm taking a couple of benadryl (diphenhydramine), also an antihistamine tabs.

By the end of the evening, the whole upper half of the had had swollen. 

I guess it is rare that I get stung.  The last time I got stung was about 2 years ago, about a day's hike or boat trip from nowhere.  I think that time I got several stings around the arms and neck area, and perhaps had some mild swelling.  Anyway, it seems as if this time I'm getting much more swelling than I ever remember. 

Still, never any consciousness or respiratory issues.  And, I may need to self-rescue (without using a pen unless I really needed it).  I am usually within a half hour from a hospital, but as mentioned above, two years ago when I got stung, I was alone, and closer to two days away from the nearest hospital. 

So, should I get some epi-pens?  Whew, $150 EACH????  And they still expire in a year or two.



 

Offline RD

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Re: When should one carry epinephrine for bee stings?
« Reply #1 on: 30/08/2013 08:08:03 »
The epipen is an adrenalin injection and can have serious side effects and should only used for life-threatening allergic reactions, e.g. people whose allergic reaction is restricting their airway severely, they may have stridor and a blue-tinged face.

Giving an adrenalin injection to a person with a heart condition could have fatal consequences.

... I may need to self-rescue (without using a pen unless I really needed it).  I am usually within a half hour from a hospital, but as mentioned above, two years ago when I got stung, I was alone, and closer to two days away from the nearest hospital. 

So, should I get some epi-pens?  Whew, $150 EACH????  And they still expire in a year or two.

A back-up mobile [cell] phone for emergencies-only would be cheaper, [ assuming there is cell phone reception "two days away from the nearest hospital" ]. In the UK a helicopter rescue would occur for someone with a life-threatening condition in a remote area.
  What happens in the USofA : are you abandoned if your American-Express-Card will not cover the cost of a chopper trip ?.
« Last Edit: 30/08/2013 08:15:04 by RD »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: When should one carry epinephrine for bee stings?
« Reply #2 on: 30/08/2013 09:25:59 »
Well...
Cell phone coverage isn't universal either.  So, being a day off of the beaten path, and there is absolutely no cell coverage.  There would, however, be satellite phone coverage, but I believe the sat phones are much bulkier, and that is assuming that the satellite coverage reaches down to the valley floor.

I don't know about air-lifting.  In general, the ER can not deny care to individuals with life-threatending illnesses even if there is no proven ability to pay for care.  Around here, there is a prepay service called "Firemed" that covers transportation costs, but I'm not sure what the coverage areas are.  I assume it also covers life-flight.
 

Online evan_au

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Re: When should one carry epinephrine for bee stings?
« Reply #3 on: 31/08/2013 09:11:55 »
As a child, I had an allergic reaction to a bee-sting after walking through clover flowers in bare feet. This caused my leg to swell.

I have not been stung by a bee since then - I figure if I don't bother them, then they probably won't bother me. However, we don't have killer bees around here...

You could try allergy desensitisation - it's been shown to have some effect for pollen allergies, not so sure about bee stings.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: When should one carry epinephrine for bee stings?
« Reply #4 on: 31/08/2013 19:37:40 »
I don't think the killer bees have made it up this far North yet.  I've been stung, perhaps a half a dozen separate incidents in the past by yellow jackets.  The yellow jackets will also swarm.  Two years ago I had to escape a swarm by jumping into a river.

In the past, it has always been a fairly localized reaction.  This is the first time I remember significant swelling (although there may have been some swelling with the half dozen stings from the swarm 2 years ago).  Anyway, I suppose it is annoying, but not worth trying a desensitization program.

The question is when one goes from annoying swelling to anaphylactic shock?

I suppose also, stings are usually on either the hands, or around the head and neck.  Could a few stings on the neck precipitate a dangerous reaction?
 

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Re: When should one carry epinephrine for bee stings?
« Reply #4 on: 31/08/2013 19:37:40 »

 

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