Q. Someone wrote to you about a bad reaction to wasps. The same thing happened to me after I was stung by yellow jackets. Please warn this person (or anyone who is allergic to stings) to consult a physician about getting an EpiPen Auto-Injector. This device is a lifesaver!

A. When someone is severely allergic to insect venom, food, latex or certain medications, anaphylactic shock can kill. Thanks for reminding us that epinephrine is indeed a lifesaver in such situations.

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  1. RMH

    Four years ago I was stung twice at same time; told wife I felt sleepy, just wanted to shower and go to bed; she called EMT, and they gave me appropriate treatment and took me to hospital, which confirmed that I had anaphylactic reaction, and had been treated properly.
    I now carry epi-pens in both vehicles, in my shop, in my shaving kit. I go nowhere without. I was stung five times in last year; first two times I did the epi-pen bit, then drove eight miles to nearest EMT place and waited to see if I developed symptoms. A chap there told me that any symptoms would show within twenty minutes, and to wait to use the epi-pen until the first symptoms appeared. I have done that since, and have not had any reaction.
    BUT–I make sure I have that epi-pen with me in the field, in the garden, on a trip, while fishing, etc. I urge you to have Dr. write prescription for several so you can spread them around to where you might be when you need one. They are expensive, so shop around.

  2. Marilyn

    Our five year old son was walking in the grass barefoot, got stung by a bee on a toe. Within 15 minutes, his eyes had swollen shut. We rushed to the nearest hospital Emergency Room, broke all speed limits, walked in with an unconcious boy over his dad’s shoulder. They kept him for four houre, shots of adrenalin, oxygen “tent” etc., saying he could easily have died if we hadn’t gotten him there when we did. He had been stung before with no such drastic reaction – so an allergic reaction can develop even when you aren’t aware you have an allergy.
    They informed us that the swelling and “hive-like” blotches that develop on the outside (his whole body was one giant red blotch) are also present on the inside of our bodies – hence swelling can shut off air passages, etc. SCARY.
    My recommendation is that everyone carry an Epipen or some similar anti-allergen device at all times. Our family does!!!

  3. Nelson

    I was hiking when I first found that I was allergic to yellow jacket stings. Even when I started to break out in hives I thought it was funny, although I did listen to my companions and we hiked out and went to a local emergency room.
    The seriousness of the situation didn’t come home to me until I got to the emergency room and THEY STARTED TREATMENT BEFORE THEY EVEN GOT MY INSURANCE INFORMATION. Then I was really frightened! Do you know how serious things have to be before they will treat you without getting their money first?
    That got through to me and I have carried an epipen ever since then. In 25 years I had to use it once and I was VERY glad to have it.

  4. Leslie

    Absolutely, YES to the Epipen. I was stung about 4 yrs. ago by a wasp and had to be rushed to the hospital within 10 minutes of the sting. That is how fast the venom affected me. The doctor told us that should I ever be stung again it could be fatal. Now I carry an Epipen with me always. Will still have to get to medical treatment right away but at least the Epipen will buy us some time.

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