wasp sting

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Related to wasp sting: hornet sting
A sting from wasps, bees, hornets and yellow jackets, which may trigger allergic reactions of variable intensity
Management The three ‘A’s’ of insect allergy:
Avoid, Adrenaline/epinephrine, Allergist
Allergen injection, or desensitisation therapy might work in selected cases
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

wasp sting

A sting from wasps, bees, hornets and yellow jackets, which may trigger allergic reactions varying greatly in severity; avoidance and prompt treatment are essential Management Allergen injection therapy
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


[AS stinge]
1. A sharp, smarting sensation, as of a wound or astringent.
2. A puncture wound made by a venomous barb or spine (e.g., of a marine animal or an insect). See: bite


Pain at the puncture site is almost universally reported. The patient may also develop local swelling, which at times is massive, and localized itch. Generalized hives, dizziness, a tight feeling in the chest, difficulty breathing, swelling of the lips and tongue, stridor, respiratory failure, hypotension, syncope, or cardiac arrest may also occur. Anaphylactic reactions such as these require prompt effective treatment.


If the stinger is still present in the skin, it should be carefully removed. Ice should be applied locally to limit inflammation at the site of the sting and systemic distribution of venom. Diphenhydramine (or other antihistamine) should be given by mouth or parenterally; moreover, if signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis exist, epinephrine should be administered. Corticosteroids are given to reduce the risk of delayed allergic responses. Patients who have had large local reactions or systemic reactions to stings should be referred for desensitization (immunotherapy). In this treatment, gradually increasing dilutions of venom are injected subcutaneously over weeks or months until immunological tolerance develops.


Those with a history of anaphylactic reactions to venom should avoid exposure to the vectors (e.g., ants, bees, snakes, wasps) as much as possible. Protective clothing (e.g., specialized gloves or shoes) may prevent some stings. Cosmetics, perfumes, hair sprays, and bright or white clothing should be avoided to prevent attracting insects. Because foods and odors attract insects, care should be taken when cooking and eating outdoors.

bee sting

See: hymenoptera sting

caterpillar sting

Irritating contact with the hairs of a butterfly or moth larva. More than 50 species of larvae possess urticating hairs that contain a toxin. Contact can cause numbness and swelling of the infected area, severe radiating pain, localized swelling, enlarged regional lymph nodes, nausea, and vomiting. Although shock and convulsions may occur, no deaths have been reported. The disease is self-limiting. The larva of the flannel moth, Megalopyge opercularis, known as the puss caterpillar or woolly worm, is frequently the cause of this sting, particularly in the southern U.S. The fuzz from these larvae can be transported by wind. Treatment involves local application of moist soaks and administration of antihistamines.

catfish sting

A toxic, allergic reaction caused by exposure to the venom contained in venomous glands at the base of catfish fins. The stung part should be immediately immersed in water as hot as the patient can stand for 1 hr or until the pain is controlled. Tetanus prophylaxis should be administered if needed.

hornet sting

A sting from a wasp of the family Vespidae.
See: hymenoptera sting

hymenoptera sting

Envenomation by a fire ant, bee, hornet, or wasp. The sting from any of these insects may cause localized or, in some sensitized patients, systemic allergic reactions. Stings by venomous insects are one of the most common causes of anaphylaxis found in hospital emergency departments.

scorpion sting

Injury resulting from scorpion venom. The stings of most species in the U.S. seldom produce severe toxic reactions, but because of the difficulty of distinguishing one species of scorpion from another, each scorpion sting should be treated as if it had been inflicted by a species capable of delivering a very toxic dose of venom. The stings vary in severity from local tissue reactions consisting of swelling and pain at the puncture site, to systemic reactions that compromise breathing and neuromuscular function. Death may rarely occur (e.g., in very young children).


For mild local reactions, cold compresses and antihistamines are sufficient. Severe reactions may need to be treated with airway management, antivenins, and intensive observation in the hospital. For the source of local antivenins, the use of which is controversial, contact the nearest poison control center.

sea anemone sting

Contact with the nematocysts or stinging cells of certain species of the flower-like marine coelenterates causing severe dermatitis with chronic ulceration. In some cases, signs and symptoms of a systemic reaction develop, including headache, nausea, vomiting, sneezing, chills, fever, paralysis, delirium, seizures, anaphylaxis, cardiac arrhythmias, heart failure, pulmonary edema, and collapse. In rare cases, it is fatal.


When systemic changes are present, vigorous therapy is indicated for hypotension. Diazepam is administered for convulsions. An electrocardiogram should be monitored for arrhythmias. Treatment for mild stings is symptomatic; application of vinegar to the sting area may inactivate the irritating secretion. All victims should be observed for 6 to 8 hr after initial therapy for rebound phenomenon.

stingray sting

Penetration of the skin by the spine of a stingray and injection of venom.


The injury should be treated by washing the wound with copious amounts of water; seawater should be used if sterile water is unavailable. The wound, which is very painful, should be cleansed thoroughly, and all foreign material should be removed. The wound site should be soaked in hot water (113°F or 45°C) for 30 to 60 min to inactivate the venom. Surgical débridement may be necessary, and narcotics may be needed for pain. Tetanus prophylaxis may be required, depending on the patient's immunization status. The wound is either packed open or loosely sutured to provide adequate drainage. Failure to treat this sting may result in gas gangrene or tetanus.

wasp sting

See: hymenoptera sting
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
Approximately 1-3-cm sized blisters were formed at the sites of the wasp stings and lasted for one week (Figure 3).
Skeins of calling birds sailed across the sky as I headed home from the Flamborough Head this week - with a flock of 20,000 claimed for north east Scotland already, it could be a bumper year for pinkies, with plenty "wasp sting antidote" due to be distributed onto the fields of west Lancs.
I made jokes about it and talked about it in after-dinner speeches - how I asked matron to 'remove the pain but keep the swelling.' The joking stopped, however, when he became concerned last year by the 'tiny little lump' left by the wasp sting.
The mother-of-two from New Southgate, North London, added: "I had no idea you could die from a wasp sting.
A Newport schoolboy was recovering in hospital from a wasp sting that temporarily paralysed his legs.
A If you have an anaphylactic reaction to wasp stings it is important you always carry an allergy kit with adrenaline injector as your allergy can be fatal.
A WOMAN whose Irish husband died from a wasp sting said yesterday he might still be alive if he had sought medical advice after suffering a mild reaction to an earlier sting.
On average four bee or wasp sting anaphylaxis deaths are reported per year in the UK.
It came after a father who drank before driving his baby daughter to hospital, for treatment for a wasp sting, was banned for 16 months.
Last week the wife of a Premiership football club chairman died almost three years after falling into a coma caused by a wasp sting. Jane Murray was stung as she ate breakfast in the garden of the Surrey home she shared with her husband Richard, the Charlton Athletic chairman.
ITALY'S Vincenzo Nibali overcame a wasp sting to regain the Tour of Spain lead yesterday while Ireland's Nicolas Roche is up to second.