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Australia has many insects flying or crawling around, that bite or sting. While you can do some things to help avoid being bitten, bites and stings often happen and you need to be prepared.
Most insect bites and stings are not poisonous and may cause a mild irritation that can easily be treated. However, some can be more severe and cause more serious reactions such as life-threatening allergy, known as anaphylaxis. It is important to seek urgent medical advice if you experience any of the following symptoms after a bite or sting:
Although relatively few bites and stings are seriously dangerous to humans, basic first aid procedures should be applied in all circumstances, and then followed promptly by appropriate medical treatment if required.
St John Ambulance recommends using their DRSABCD Action Plan in assessing whether an injured person has any life-threatening conditions and if immediate first aid is needed. If a person is unconscious or needs emergency medical care, phone 000 for an ambulance and you may need to apply CPR until medical help arrives.
D - Danger. Ensure the area is safe for yourself, others and the patient.R - Response. Is the injured person conscious or unconscious? Ask them for their name and squeeze their shoulders. If there is no response follow the following step - send for help.S - Send for help. Call triple zero (000) for an ambulance or ask another person to make a call.A - Airway. Check if the patient’s airway is open, and clear of any objects? If foreign material is present, place the patient in recovery position and clear their airways with your fingers.B - Breathing. Check if the patient’s chest is rising and falling. Look, listen, feel. Can you hear or feel air from their mouth or nose? If they are not breathing normally, start CPR.C - CPR. 30 Chest compressions followed by 2 breaths. Continue CPR until help arrives or patient recovers.D - Defibrillation. Apply defibrillator if available and follow voice prompts.