Ch 23 bites and stings
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Ch. 23-Bites and Stings. Most poisonous snakes have the following characteristics:. Large fangs Vertical slits for pupils, much like those of a cat A heat-sensitive pit between the eye and the nostril on each side of the head

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Most poisonous snakes have the following characteristics l.jpg
Most poisonous snakes have the following characteristics:

  • Large fangs

  • Vertical slits for pupils, much like those of a cat

  • A heat-sensitive pit between the eye and the nostril on each side of the head

  • A variety of differently shaped blotches on a background of pink, yellow, olive, tan, gray, or brown skin

  • The triangular head is larger than the neck

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Severity of Snakebite

  • The location of the bite (fatty tissue absorbs the venom more slowly than muscle tissue)

  • Whether disease-causing organisms are in the venom

  • The size and weight of the victim

  • The general health and condition of the victim

  • How much physical activity the victim engaged in immediately following the bite (physical activity helps spread venom)

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Signs and Symptoms of Snakebite

  • Two distinct fang marks about half an inch apart at the bite site, which may or may not bleed (in some cases there may be only one fang mark)

  • Immediate and severe burning pain and swelling around the fang marks, usually within 5 minutes but sometimes taking as long as 4 hours to develop (swelling may affect the entire arm or leg)

  • Purplish discoloration and blood-filled blisters around the bite, usually within 2 to 10 hours

  • Numbness around the bite

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Vocabulary

  • Coral snake- A type of poisonous snake that does not have a pit or fangs

  • Elliptical pupils- Pupils that are vertical slits, like those of a cat

  • Pit viper- A type of poisonous snake, such as a rattlesnake, characterized by a pit between the eyes and nostril

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PROGRESS CHECK

1. Most poisonous snakes have ____________. (large fangs/small, irregular fangs/rows of small teeth)

2. The pupils of most poisonous snakes are ____________.

(round/elliptical/oval)

3. Pit vipers are so named because of a pit between the ____________.

(eyes/eye and nostril)

4. The poisonous snake that does not share typical characteristics of poisonous snakes is the ____________.

(copperhead/water moccasin/coral snake)

5. Pain from a pit viper bite is ____________. (sharp/burning/dull)

6. Pain from a coral snake bite is usually __________. (absent/sharp/dull)

7. Signs and symptoms of pit viper bites are generally ____________.

(immediate/slightly delayed/delayed by as many as 8 hours)

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Insect Bites and Stings

Signs and Symptoms include:

  • A mark from the bite or sting

  • Pain or tenderness at and surrounding the bite or sting

  • Redness at and surrounding the bite or sting

  • Swelling around the bite or sting

  • A venom sac, stinger, tentacle, or other remnant of the insect at the bite or sting

    Medical help is necessary if:

  • Itching lasts longer than 2 days.

  • Signs of infection develop.

  • Signs of an allergic reaction develop.

  • The insect is poisonous, most often black widow or brown recluse spiders (which can be fatal).

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Black widow spider bites cause:

  • Sharp pinprick pain at the site, followed by dull pain in the area of the bite (pain peaks in 2 to 3 hours and lasts 12 to 48 hours)

  • Small red fang marks

  • Severe muscle spasms and rigidity, especially in the shoulders, back, chest, and abdomen, starting within 1 to 4 hours of the bite

  • Fever and chills

  • Profuse sweating

  • Headache and dizziness

  • Restlessness

  • Anxiety

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Weakness

  • Drooping eyelids

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Vocabulary

  • Black widow spider- A poisonous spider identified by a red mark shaped like an hourglass on its underside

  • Brown recluse spider- A brown poisonous spider identified by a violin-shaped mark on its back; brown recluse spider bites do not heal and require surgical grafting

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  • Scorpion

  • Fire Ants

  • Ticks

  • Centipedes

  • Insect Stings

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Anaphylactic Shock

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Itching of the throat

  • Faintness

  • Dizziness

  • Generalized itching

  • Hives

  • Redness of the skin

  • Generalized swelling, including the eyelids, lips, and tongue

  • Upper airway obstruction

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Shortness of breath, wheezing, or stridor

  • Drippy nose

  • Labored breathing

  • Abdominal cramps

  • Confusion

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Convulsions

  • Low blood pressure

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PROGRESS CHECK

1. In addition to general signs of insect bite, a sign of black widow bite is ____________. (cramps/ulcerated skin/fluid-filled blisters)

2. A brown recluse spider bite is especially serious because it ____________.

(causes neurological damage/does not heal/goes unnoticed)

3. Fire ants sting in a characteristic ____________ pattern.

(circular/parallel/random)

4. Ticks can cause a serious problem because they carry ____________.

(meningitis/encephalitis/Rocky Mountain spotted fever)

5. Anaphylactic shock is a severe ____________ that can cause death within a few minutes. (sting/allergic reaction/venom)

6. ____________ leave the stinger behind, so they can sting only once. (Wasps/Hornets/Bees)

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PROGRESS CHECK

1. Poisonous forms of marine life are found in ____________ waters. (temperate/tropical/all)

2. The venom of marine animals causes ________ tissue damage than that of poisonous land animals.

(less extensive/more extensive/more varied)

3. The venom of marine animals is destroyed by ____________. (cold/heat/antiseptics)

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First Aid for Bites and Stings

1. If the stinger is still present, remove it by gently scraping against it with the edge of a credit card, the edge of a knife, or your fingernail.

2. Wash the area around the bite or sting gently with a soap solution

3. Remove any jewelry or other constricting objects as soon as possible—ideally, before any swelling begins.

4. Lower the site of the bite or sting slightly below the level of the victim’s heart.

5. Apply a cold compress to the site of an insect bite or scorpion sting to relieve pain and swelling

6. Apply a paste of baking soda and water to relieve the pain of bee sting

7. Observe the victim carefully for at least 30 minutes to determine whether he or she is developing the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction

8. Keep the victim calm, limit physical activity, and keep the victim warm; arrange for transport as soon as possible

9. Help a victim who carries an insect sting kit to use the kit as he/she has been instructed to do

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First Aid Care for Snakebite

Regardless of the type of snakebite, never

  • Cut the skin, which can cause infection

  • Use suction of any kind

  • Use a tourniquet, which can result in loss of a limb

  • Apply ice, which causes more rapid absorption of the venom

  • Use electric shock, which can cause severe injury

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First Aid Care for Snakebite

Instead, do the following:

1. Treat a nonpoisonous snakebite as you would any minor wound; clean with soap and water, cover with a dry sterile dressing, and seek medical advice.

2. For pit viper bite, move the victim away from the snake (they will bite more than once, and can strike half their body length). Keep the victim calm and quiet; if possible, the victim should not walk. Clean the bite with soap and water, then splint the affected extremity. Seek medical attention immediately; antivenim is available only in hospitals (partly because of its short shelf life) and must be administered within 4 hours.

3. For coral snake bite, gently wash the bite with soap and water and wrap the entire extremity with several elastic bandages, exerting moderate pressure to slow the spread of venom. Use overlapping turns to keep the pressure from the bandage firm, beginning at the end of the limb farthest from the heart; gently stretch the bandage as you wrap. Use figure-eight turns around the knee or elbow. When you have finished, the bandage should be firm, but you should be able to slip your finger under the bandage. Leave the toes or fingers exposed so you can check for any kind of discoloration, which would indicate that the bandage is wrapped too tightly; the victim should also stay alert for numbness or tingling in the fingers or toes, which also indicate that the bandage is too tight. Seek medical attention immediately: an effective antivenin is available.

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First Aid Care for Marine Life Poisoning

Activate the EMS system immediately if:

  • The victim does not know what stung him or her

  • The victim is having trouble breathing

  • The sting is on the face or neck

  • The victim has had allergic reactions to previous marine animal stings

  • The victim is bleeding heavily

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Removing a Tick

1. Using fine-tipped tweezers, grasp the tick as close as possible to the point where it is attached to the skin

2. Pull slowly, firmly, and steadily until the tick is dislodged

3. Wash the bite area thoroughly with soap and water and apply an antiseptic or antibiotic ointment to the area

4. Apply a cold pack or use Calamine lotion to relieve any pain and swelling

5. Encourage the victim to report the tick bite to a doctor

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PROGRESS CHECK

1. To remove a stinger, ____________ it. (squeeze/twist/scrape)

2. Apply ____________ to all bites except snakebite and those of marine animals. (antiseptic/heat/cold)

3. Monitor the victim continuously for signs of ____________.

(anaphylactic shock/dyspnea/rapid pulse)

4. Pour ____________ on marine life stings to denature the toxin.

(rubbing alcohol/vinegar/hydrogen peroxide)

5. Remove the barbs of marine life unless they are embedded in ____________. (the chest/a joint/the abdomen)

6. When you remove a tick, be careful not to ____________ it.

(squeeze/break/twist)

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