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  1. #1
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    Exclamation My boy got stung - went to ER

    My boy got stung

    Yesterday early evening one of my girls flew into my 15 year old boy's curly head of hair. He came over holding his head yelping for help. I couldn't see the thing and just tried brushing his curls with my hand to flush her out. No luck, she stung him. This wasn't his first time. One time years ago he was nailed on a fleshy area next to his eye, which swelled more than expected.

    That ruined his fun and he went inside to put ice on it. He reasured me it wasn't my fault, but it was hurting. And hurting. And instead of settling down, he expressed increasing discomfort and downright howled.

    I gave him an antihistamine and ibuprofen, applied topical pain releiver and tapped here and the rest of the internet for more guidance while he continued to howl. The posts along the lines of "get over it" didn't help much. I tried some topical hydrocordizone, but that didn't help either.

    As I waited for the stuff to kick in and continued searching, he came downstairs complaining his palm was itching. That's when I noticed hives on his cheek. He's not a "woos", I prefer to error on the side of caution and felt dumbfounded as I took him to the emergency room for a bee sting.

    As we drove the two miles to the hospital, his face blew up like a scene from a creature feature flick. As we entered the emergency room it occurred to me I didn't have a camera for what I didn't believe could happen. The reaction raced down his torso and arms within minutes.

    They took him right in, hooked him up to a drip, attached the monitor, pushed in a steriod and followed with benedril. Then he told the nurse his throat felt scratchy. She fetched the doctor for an Epinephrine injection. Before she returned with the needle, my son complained about difficulty breathing.

    Then things started calming down. And we waited. And his color improved. And the hives backed down. And we waited. And he dropped off to sleep from the benedril push. And the scene from the creature feature flick played in reverse.

    Two hours later I paid the $120 ER co-pay and we left for the phamacy. There we picked up generic benedril, an EpiPen kit, a prescription antihistamine and a prescription steriod for another $50 bucks in co-pays. The pharmacist dismissed my delusion this was a freak occurance with "Next time it could be worse." My wife has an EpiPen packed for the school nurse.

    So today I'm getting adding a couple sheets of lattice to the current barrier to better enclose my colonies. After that, I'll need to reconsider this diversion with respect to my boy and our neighbors.
    Last edited by throrope; 05-12-2012 at 09:52 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: My boy got stung - went to ER

    You might consider anti-allergy treatments for bee venom sensitivity. They work. My friend was almost killed from a sting while on a bike ride, went through the treatments, and has been stung years later without a severe reaction. More people die annually from bee stings than snake bites.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: My boy got stung - went to ER

    Being a beekeeper who is allergic, I have and still am, taking allergy shots. But I would suggest that you be proactive and give the appropriate dose of benedryl to your son if he is ever stung again -- do not wait for the reaction. Personally, I carry it with me whenever I am working my hives.

  4. #4
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    Brainerd, MN
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    Default Re: My boy got stung - went to ER

    Ya that's an anaphylactic reaction and it could be worse the next time. You guys may not make it to the ER! I would take this very seriously. I would find a new place to put your bees. Find a friend that lives out in the country.

  5. #5
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    hammond, louisiana, USA
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    Default Re: My boy got stung - went to ER

    Are you sure it was a bee. I have a friend thats not allergic to bees, but if a yellow jacket stings him he has the same reaction as your son . Just a thought

  6. #6
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    Default Re: My boy got stung - went to ER

    Quote Originally Posted by throrope View Post
    So today I'm getting adding a couple sheets of lattice to the current barrier to better enclose my colonies. After that, I'll need to reconsider this diversion with respect to my boy and our neighbors.
    I haven't tried it myself yet (though I intend to soon if my girls don't calm down), but have read that a privacy fence works wonders to divert the girls up & overhead of bystanders for most of their flight routes.

    ...as far as your son's allergies, I agree with odfrank, that's a dangerous allergy to have, I'd go ahead with the (controlled) desinsitization.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Default Re: My boy got stung - went to ER

    Throrope,

    I went through a similar reaction to bee stings when I had my first hive at age 8. Hives (swelling) all over my body and my eyes swelled shut. My parents put me in a bath tub full of cold water with lots of baking soda. No doctor, hospital, or ER in those days. I'm back into beekeeping again after a pause of many years, and of course getting stung. I'm pushing 73 now.

    Bear Creek Steve

  8. #8
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    Default Re: My boy got stung - went to ER

    Sounds like a classic reaction, hives are always a give away. I work for the ambulance and we usually see at least one sting reaction a year. Interestingly, I've never seen one from a honeybee, they've always been from hornets.

    Sorry you had to go to the ER, but isn't epi great stuff? I'm always impressed by how quickly it works and how completely it can reverse the reaction. It one of the very few medications that actually has an immediate positive effect on almost everybody.

    Even though you now have a pen you can still wait for the beginnings of a reaction before using the epi. He may not have a bad reaction next time and the epi works so fast that you can afford to wait a few minutes and look for symptoms without risk. Its always better to treat symptoms rather than incidents.

    Once you use the epi though its an automatic hospital visit. The injection wears of in about 20 minutes and without the benadryl on board the reaction can start up again.

    One caution with the epi pen, if you accidentally inject it into a small area like a finger tip it can constrict the blood vessels so severely that you completely loose circulation to that body part and suffer symptoms similar to frostbite. The only treatment is to place it in hot water to try and open up the vessels enough to keep the tissues alive until the epi wears off. Also, the needles of the auto injectors are really thin and if you get a little too excited applying it is easy to bend or break it off.

    As for redirecting your bees, I have mine up on a 10' platform to protect them from bears and have noticed that they don't seem to come down at all, their flight paths all seem to be overhead now.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: My boy got stung - went to ER

    I just got an appointment with a dermatologist from my kid's pediatrician for my son to test him for allergies to bee stings. She erred on the side of caution and gave me a script for 2 epi pens for him since he's my right hand man in the apiary. I doubt he's allergic but he's never been stung. Honestly having the pen might save someone else's life too if you're out on a removal. The last lady who called me to remove bees was deathly allergic to them, glad she called me and not the exterminator
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: My boy got stung - went to ER

    Quote Originally Posted by Aerindel View Post
    epi works so fast that you can afford to wait a few minutes and look for symptoms without risk. Its always better to treat symptoms rather than incidents.
    Depending on how far from the hospital you live, you might want to start driving to the hospital while you are waiting for the reaction though. If it's a false alarm and you don't need to use it, great. If you do need to use it then you are already closer to the ER for after-care. A friend got stung and he said that he was allergic so I grabbed my epi pen and we drove to the ER 5 min away. We sat in the parking lot for 20 min and he didn't have a reaction so we just drove home. Better safe than sorry.

    But now that you have a backup if he does get stung there isn't much to worry about. Just don't swat at them. I got stung twice because they got to close to my face and I tried swatting them away. Talk to my mentor and he dared me to just freeze and let them sting me. He told me he's give me $100 if they stung me. I've had dozens headbutt me in the ears and face but not one has actually stung me since.
    Disclaimer: I know enough to know I don't know anything yet.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: My boy got stung - went to ER

    Throrope - I'm thankful your son is ok and that you seem to be well on the road to finding a way to keep the bees flight path away from your family.

    Everyone else - what are the potential liabilities/consequences of giving Dr prescribed medication (an Epi pen) to someone other than who it was prescribed for? I certainly get that in a life and death situation - especially those involving a family member - legal arguments take a back seat to keeping the stinging victim alive.

    But - and here is what concerns me: If I am hosting an open hive at my house, and I decide it is a reasonable precaution to have an Epi pen on hand - what are the potential consequences if someone is stung, appears to have a systemic reaction, and I as an untrained layman (ok, I was certified to give Epi a long time ago as part of a WFA, but that certification is long expired) misread the symptoms or misapply the Epi?

    My solution has been to keep liquid Benadryl on hand - my thought being that I will hand the over the counter Benadryl to the "victim" - tell them what it says on the label about the dosage to take - and offer to transport to the nearest medical facility (or call 911.) Thankfully I've never had to implement my solution.

    Am I being overly paranoid?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: My boy got stung - went to ER

    Similar scenario when I was 13. I took the "old" style anti sting therapy for many tears. Ground up mixed body parts of the common wasps and bees. It seemed to work. I got my first hives when I was in college in 1974. I got stung and had a mild hives reaction, but it scared me. I sold the hives. I worked for Md State Wildlife for a while. I had heard of the new "whole" bee venom serum for desensitization. Took them for 3 years but was on the monthly maintenance dose before I stopped. It is a five year program with 95 plus percent success rate. (as I recall) I cautiously returned to beekeeping 7 years ago. I still carry an epi pen. I have taken as many as ten stings at one time, and 40 in a week. That's the thing with the sting therapy. It is designed to get you to survive a sting or two. It varies from individual to individual. It took a while to not worry everytime I got stung but I always err on the side of caution. Even now.
    I sympathize your quandary. Perhaps there are some temporary solutions until your son progresses through the venom therapy. (assuming that path will be taken)
    Best to and for you and your son.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: My boy got stung - went to ER

    I am glad your Son is alright now. Next time be proactive and grab the bee with your fingers and crush her before she can sting. If you or your Son had done that the ER trip would have been avoided. I have never been stung in the fingers doing so. But, if I ever do, it's much less painful and easier to get out where the sting can be seen.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  14. #14
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    Default Re: My boy got stung - went to ER

    Perhaps so, but JMHO, in this case, it would be postponing the inevitable and better close to home and ER services. Hang with bees, you will be stung.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: My boy got stung - went to ER

    throrope, glad to hear your son is OK. It is a concern that will have to be dealt with, whether around your bees or anyplace else.

    The question about liability is always an interesting one. Liability is viewed very differently in different regions of the country. Funny thing, it tends to follow red/blue political boundries. The "good samaritan" law in Texas is pretty rock solid, but can still be interpreted differently, even from county to county. It basically states that as long as you render aid within your qualifications, you are immune from being sued. With that said, there is a ton of ambiguity in that statement. I think I would, without regard to liability, treat anyone on my property who was stung and showing positive signs of a systemic reaction. At the very least, I would offer the epi pen for them to administer themselves, and let them make the decision.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: My boy got stung - went to ER

    Ibuprofen: have read about some research indicating it may cause allergic reactions to bee stings to intensify. Might bee worth checking out.

    Modification of reaction due to other drugs.

    Some beekeepers are reporting bad reactions to bee stings when they have taken pain killers or anti-inflammatory drugs.

    The drugs may reverse their immunity to bee stings. Such drugs include:-

    IBUPROFEN, FENOPROFEN, NAPROXEN, KETOPROFEN, SULINDAC, PIROXICAM, SUPROFED AND TOLMETIN.

    It has been recently reported that people who considered that they had an immunity to bee stings... Suffered much increased reactions to bee and wasp stings after taking a non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Beekeepers are advised to stay away from ADVID and TYLENOL and over the counter pain killers in general. If any pain relief is required... Then take only ASPIRIN. http://www.drhull.com/EncyMaster/B/beestings.html 1I have been informed recently of possible re-activation of bee-sting allergy (with potentially severe symptoms) by ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (as well as other medications not used in childhood). It might be wise to stick with acetaminophen for pain relief.
    http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/PUa...e.htm#sections
    Last edited by mac; 05-13-2012 at 10:03 AM.
    Im really not that serious

  17. #17
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    Default Re: My boy got stung - went to ER

    It basically states that as long as you render aid within your qualifications, you are immune from being sued.
    This is the problem you are faced with: it is illegal in the US for non licensed individuals to dispense prescription medicine. Unless you are a doctor, paramedic or EMT it would not be legal for you do so and would outside the good Samaritan law, not only would you not be protected from lawsuit, you would in fact be breaking the law.

    Would you actually be prosecuted if you gave epi to someone having an allergic reaction? That depends a lot on who you gave it to and how they reacted. Lawsuits don't happen on their own, you need someone who is angry at you.

    Now I am an EMT and I do carry epi that I can legally use on other people but even if I wasn't I would always try to save someones life first and worry about getting sued later.

    If you are going to do such a thing make sure that it is really needed. Many people don't have health insurance and a false alarm epi stick can cost a couple thousands of dollars, which will make people upset with you. Generally, most people won't hold it against you if you save their life, even if they get a bill.

    Really research the difference between a panic attack and an anaphylactic reaction. Even for EMT's its not always obvious at first, which is why are protocol is to only treat definite symptoms of anaphylaxis, not just people who say "I'm allergic to bee stings, I need epi."

    At the very least, I would offer the epi pen for them to administer themselves, and let them make the decision.
    This would be the best policy. Also remember that at any time you can call your ER and ask to speak to medical control which will be a doctor who may give you permission to use epi in which case you ware acting under his orders and his malpractice insurance. Even I as an EMT use this channel to protect myself legally in certain situations, such as when I need to have someone arrested for their own safety or when I do not wish to call for a $30,000 helicopter ride for someone who I think I can safely transport by ground but for whom protocol dictates air medical transport.
    Last edited by Aerindel; 05-13-2012 at 08:30 PM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: My boy got stung - went to ER

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    But - and here is what concerns me: If I am hosting an open hive at my house, and I decide it is a reasonable precaution to have an Epi pen on hand - what are the potential consequences if someone is stung, appears to have a systemic reaction, and I as an untrained layman (ok, I was certified to give Epi a long time ago as part of a WFA, but that certification is long expired) misread the symptoms or misapply the Epi?
    People have swimming pools, trampolines, dogs, tree houses etc. Do you know CPR in case someone starts drowning? Have a bandages in case someone falls and gets cut? What if your dog bites someone?

    Anything can happen...

  19. #19
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    Default Re: My boy got stung - went to ER

    Quote Originally Posted by nbarlow123 View Post
    Are you sure it was a bee. I have a friend thats not allergic to bees, but if a yellow jacket stings him he has the same reaction as your son . Just a thought
    Same thing happened with my mail delivery guy. He was stung years ago with a bad reaction and in the hospital they told him he is allergic to bees and he now carries an epi pen. That did not stop him from looking at our bees with protection. He noted that they looked different then what stung him. I told him it may have been a wasp that send him to the emergency room. Two month later he reported that he got stung by a honey bee and that it was more of an accident. This time he knew how they looked liked and he learned from me to slide away the stinger. He had the normal swelling, but not a serious reaction. He now tell everyone the story.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: My boy got stung - went to ER

    Quote Originally Posted by mac View Post
    Ibuprofen: have read about some research indicating it may cause allergic reactions to bee stings to intensify. Might bee worth checking out.

    Modification of reaction due to other drugs.

    Some beekeepers are reporting bad reactions to bee stings when they have taken pain killers or anti-inflammatory drugs.

    The drugs may reverse their immunity to bee stings. Such drugs include:-

    IBUPROFEN, FENOPROFEN, NAPROXEN, KETOPROFEN, SULINDAC, PIROXICAM, SUPROFED AND TOLMETIN.

    It has been recently reported that people who considered that they had an immunity to bee stings... Suffered much increased reactions to bee and wasp stings after taking a non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Beekeepers are advised to stay away from ADVID and TYLENOL and over the counter pain killers in general. If any pain relief is required... Then take only ASPIRIN. http://www.drhull.com/EncyMaster/B/beestings.html 1I have been informed recently of possible re-activation of bee-sting allergy (with potentially severe symptoms) by ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (as well as other medications not used in childhood). It might be wise to stick with acetaminophen for pain relief.
    http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/PUa...e.htm#sections
    Interesting but I know for myself I use Advil for a chronic back issue and I have not had any problems with stings tending my hives. Yes I get stung! But no adverse reaction except for the initial stick by the bee and itchy redness at the site for a couple days.

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