first aid

Bites and Stings

Symptoms: Wound (animal or human bite) or swelling and pain (insect sting). Treatment: For animal and human bites, cleanse wound with soap and water and apply iodine containing antiseptic; submit animal for rabies test. For poisonous snakebite, cooling the site of the wound with ice will slow down absorption of poisons; antivenin treatment is required only for a small number of reptile bites. Prevent exertion and taking of stimulants by victim. For insect stings apply cortisone ointments, soothing lotions, or cool compress. Persons who are allergic to insect stings should carry adrenaline with them at all times. Papain, the main ingredient in "meat tenderizer," is effective in coral sting injuries.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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