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Insect and Scorpion Stings

Insect and scorpion stings are a rare cause of mortality Mortality All deaths reported in a given population. Measures of Health Status. Hymenoptera insects and Centruroides scorpions can potentially lead to serious symptoms due to envenomation. Pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways, swelling Swelling Inflammation, erythema Erythema Redness of the skin produced by congestion of the capillaries. This condition may result from a variety of disease processes. Chalazion, and warmth are common at the site of a sting. Hymenoptera stings may lead to anaphylaxis Anaphylaxis An acute hypersensitivity reaction due to exposure to a previously encountered antigen. The reaction may include rapidly progressing urticaria, respiratory distress, vascular collapse, systemic shock, and death. Type I Hypersensitivity Reaction. Venomous scorpion stings can result in neurologic manifestations such as muscle spasms Spasms An involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles. Spasms may involve skeletal muscle or smooth muscle. Ion Channel Myopathy; abnormal head, neck Neck The part of a human or animal body connecting the head to the rest of the body. Peritonsillar Abscess, and eye movements; excessive salivation; and diaphoresis. The diagnosis of insect and scorpion stings is clinical. Management of insect stings includes cleansing the wound, antihistamines Antihistamines Antihistamines are drugs that target histamine receptors, particularly H1 and H2 receptors. H1 antagonists are competitive and reversible inhibitors of H1 receptors. First-generation antihistamines cross the blood-brain barrier and can cause sedation. Antihistamines and pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways relievers, and treatment for anaphylaxis Anaphylaxis An acute hypersensitivity reaction due to exposure to a previously encountered antigen. The reaction may include rapidly progressing urticaria, respiratory distress, vascular collapse, systemic shock, and death. Type I Hypersensitivity Reaction. Scorpion stings may require close monitoring, supportive care, benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines work on the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor to produce inhibitory effects on the CNS. Benzodiazepines do not mimic GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in humans, but instead potentiate GABA activity. Benzodiazepines for muscle spasms Spasms An involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles. Spasms may involve skeletal muscle or smooth muscle. Ion Channel Myopathy, and antivenom.

Last updated: Mar 1, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Epidemiology and Species

Epidemiology

Insect stings:

  • 9.3 million people are stung by ants each year.
  • > 1 million stings yearly by other insects
  • Anaphylaxis Anaphylaxis An acute hypersensitivity reaction due to exposure to a previously encountered antigen. The reaction may include rapidly progressing urticaria, respiratory distress, vascular collapse, systemic shock, and death. Type I Hypersensitivity Reaction occurs in approximately 3% of cases.
  • Approximately 10 deaths per year in the United States

Scorpion stings:

  • Majority of stings are nonlethal, but young children are at higher risk (if not treated):
    • < 1% in adults
    • 25% in children < 5 years
  • More common in: 
    • Temperate and tropical regions
    • Rural areas
    • Summer months
    • During the evening

Clinically relevant species

The Hymenoptera order includes the following stinging insects:

  • Apids: bees
  • Vespids:
    • Wasps
    • Yellow jackets
    • Hornets
  • Formicids: fire ants

Venomous scorpions in the United States include:

  • Centruroides sculpturatus (Arizona bark scorpion)
  • C. exilicauda (Baja California bark scorpion)
  • C. vittatus (striped bark scorpion)

Pathophysiology

General Hymenoptera venom characteristics

  • Proteolytic enzymes Proteolytic enzymes Proteins and Peptides → degrade surrounding tissue
  • Proteins Proteins Linear polypeptides that are synthesized on ribosomes and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of amino acids determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during protein folding, and the function of the protein. Energy Homeostasis act as allergens → histamine release Release Release of a virus from the host cell following virus assembly and maturation. Egress can occur by host cell lysis, exocytosis, or budding through the plasma membrane. Virology vasodilation Vasodilation The physiological widening of blood vessels by relaxing the underlying vascular smooth muscle. Pulmonary Hypertension Drugs and inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation

Apids

  • Barbed stinger becomes lodged in the skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions → only stings once → kills insect
  • Venom contains melittin → pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways producing and cytolytic

Vespids

  • Stingers do not stay in the skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions → allows multiple stings
  • Venom contains antigen Antigen Substances that are recognized by the immune system and induce an immune reaction. Vaccination 5 protein → allergenic

Formicids

  • Ant anchors itself to the skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions → stings repeatedly while rotating in an arc
  • Venom is made of alkaloids → cytotoxic Cytotoxic Parvovirus B19 → characteristic sterile Sterile Basic Procedures pustules

Bark scorpions

  • Can sting multiple times → venom depletes with each sting
  • Neurotoxic venom Neurotoxic Venom Spider Bites → incomplete inactivation of sodium Sodium A member of the alkali group of metals. It has the atomic symbol na, atomic number 11, and atomic weight 23. Hyponatremia channels Channels The Cell: Cell Membrane → prolonged depolarization Depolarization Membrane Potential and hyperexcitability: 
    • Cranial nerve and somatic dysfunction
    • Excessive acetylcholine Acetylcholine A neurotransmitter found at neuromuscular junctions, autonomic ganglia, parasympathetic effector junctions, a subset of sympathetic effector junctions, and at many sites in the central nervous system. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS release Release Release of a virus from the host cell following virus assembly and maturation. Egress can occur by host cell lysis, exocytosis, or budding through the plasma membrane. Virology → parasympathetic dysfunction
    • Excessive epinephrine Epinephrine The active sympathomimetic hormone from the adrenal medulla. It stimulates both the alpha- and beta- adrenergic systems, causes systemic vasoconstriction and gastrointestinal relaxation, stimulates the heart, and dilates bronchi and cerebral vessels. Sympathomimetic Drugs and norepinephrine Norepinephrine Precursor of epinephrine that is secreted by the adrenal medulla and is a widespread central and autonomic neurotransmitter. Norepinephrine is the principal transmitter of most postganglionic sympathetic fibers, and of the diffuse projection system in the brain that arises from the locus ceruleus. Receptors and Neurotransmitters of the CNS release Release Release of a virus from the host cell following virus assembly and maturation. Egress can occur by host cell lysis, exocytosis, or budding through the plasma membrane. Virology → sympathetic dysfunction

Clinical Presentation

Presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor of insect stings

Local signs and symptoms:

Systemic signs and symptoms ( anaphylaxis Anaphylaxis An acute hypersensitivity reaction due to exposure to a previously encountered antigen. The reaction may include rapidly progressing urticaria, respiratory distress, vascular collapse, systemic shock, and death. Type I Hypersensitivity Reaction):

  • Generalized urticaria Urticaria Urticaria is raised, well-circumscribed areas (wheals) of edema (swelling) and erythema (redness) involving the dermis and epidermis with associated pruritus (itch). Urticaria is not a single disease but rather is a reaction pattern representing cutaneous mast cell degranulation. Urticaria (Hives)
  • Angioedema Angioedema Angioedema is a localized, self-limited (but potentially life-threatening), nonpitting, asymmetrical edema occurring in the deep layers of the skin and mucosal tissue. The common underlying pathophysiology involves inflammatory mediators triggering significant vasodilation and increased capillary permeability. Angioedema
  • Flushing
  • Wheezing Wheezing Wheezing is an abnormal breath sound characterized by a whistling noise that can be relatively high-pitched and shrill (more common) or coarse. Wheezing is produced by the movement of air through narrowed or compressed small (intrathoracic) airways. Wheezing and respiratory distress
  • Hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension

Presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor of scorpion stings

Local signs and symptoms:

  • Mild swelling Swelling Inflammation
  • Warmth
  • Pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways and tenderness
  • Paresthesia
  • Regional lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy is lymph node enlargement (> 1 cm) and is benign and self-limited in most patients. Etiologies include malignancy, infection, and autoimmune disorders, as well as iatrogenic causes such as the use of certain medications. Generalized lymphadenopathy often indicates underlying systemic disease. Lymphadenopathy

Systemic signs and symptoms (envenomation):

  • Vital sign findings:
    • Hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension
    • Tachycardia Tachycardia Abnormally rapid heartbeat, usually with a heart rate above 100 beats per minute for adults. Tachycardia accompanied by disturbance in the cardiac depolarization (cardiac arrhythmia) is called tachyarrhythmia. Sepsis in Children or bradycardia Bradycardia Bradyarrhythmia is a rhythm in which the heart rate is less than 60/min. Bradyarrhythmia can be physiologic, without symptoms or hemodynamic change. Pathologic bradyarrhythmia results in reduced cardiac output and hemodynamic instability causing syncope, dizziness, or dyspnea. Bradyarrhythmias
    • Tachypnea Tachypnea Increased respiratory rate. Pulmonary Examination
  • Nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics and vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia
  • Muscle spasms Spasms An involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles. Spasms may involve skeletal muscle or smooth muscle. Ion Channel Myopathy and fasciculations Fasciculations Involuntary contraction of the muscle fibers innervated by a motor unit. Fasciculations may be visualized as a muscle twitch or dimpling under the skin, but usually do not generate sufficient force to move a limb. They may represent a benign condition or occur as a manifestation of motor neuron disease or peripheral nervous system diseases. Polyneuropathy, opisthotonus Opisthotonus Tetanus (arching of the back), and emprosthotonus (body bent forward)
  • Abnormal movements:
  • Anxiety Anxiety Feelings or emotions of dread, apprehension, and impending disaster but not disabling as with anxiety disorders. Generalized Anxiety Disorder and restlessness
  • Sialorrhea (excessive salivation)
  • Diaphoresis
  • Weakness
  • Pulmonary edema Pulmonary edema Pulmonary edema is a condition caused by excess fluid within the lung parenchyma and alveoli as a consequence of a disease process. Based on etiology, pulmonary edema is classified as cardiogenic or noncardiogenic. Patients may present with progressive dyspnea, orthopnea, cough, or respiratory failure. Pulmonary Edema

Complications:

  • Respiratory failure Respiratory failure Respiratory failure is a syndrome that develops when the respiratory system is unable to maintain oxygenation and/or ventilation. Respiratory failure may be acute or chronic and is classified as hypoxemic, hypercapnic, or a combination of the two. Respiratory Failure
  • Anaphylaxis Anaphylaxis An acute hypersensitivity reaction due to exposure to a previously encountered antigen. The reaction may include rapidly progressing urticaria, respiratory distress, vascular collapse, systemic shock, and death. Type I Hypersensitivity Reaction
  • Pancreatitis Pancreatitis Inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis is classified as acute unless there are computed tomographic or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatographic findings of chronic pancreatitis. The two most common forms of acute pancreatitis are alcoholic pancreatitis and gallstone pancreatitis. Acute Pancreatitis
Scorpion sting

Scorpion sting site on a patient’s thumb

Image: “Scorpion sting site” by Laboratory of Chemistry and Biological Macromolecule Structure, Federal University of Western Pará (UFOPA), Santarém, Pará State Brazil. License: CC BY 4.0

Diagnosis and Management

Diagnosis

Insect and scorpion stings are clinical diagnoses.

Insect sting management

General management:

  • Clean with soap and water.
  • Remove the stinger (with a scraping motion, not by squeezing).
  • Apply cold compresses.
  • Medical therapy:
    • NSAIDs NSAIDS Primary vs Secondary Headaches or acetaminophen Acetaminophen Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. Acetaminophen for analgesia Analgesia Methods of pain relief that may be used with or in place of analgesics. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts
    • Antihistamines Antihistamines Antihistamines are drugs that target histamine receptors, particularly H1 and H2 receptors. H1 antagonists are competitive and reversible inhibitors of H1 receptors. First-generation antihistamines cross the blood-brain barrier and can cause sedation. Antihistamines
    • Topical corticosteroids Corticosteroids Chorioretinitis
    • Oral prednisone Prednisone A synthetic anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid derived from cortisone. It is biologically inert and converted to prednisolone in the liver. Immunosuppressants for large, localized reactions

Management of severe allergic reactions Allergic Reactions Type I hypersensitivity reaction against plasma proteins in donor blood Transfusion Reactions and anaphylaxis Anaphylaxis An acute hypersensitivity reaction due to exposure to a previously encountered antigen. The reaction may include rapidly progressing urticaria, respiratory distress, vascular collapse, systemic shock, and death. Type I Hypersensitivity Reaction:

  • Assess and stabilize the airway Airway ABCDE Assessment.
  • Medical therapy:
    • Antihistamines Antihistamines Antihistamines are drugs that target histamine receptors, particularly H1 and H2 receptors. H1 antagonists are competitive and reversible inhibitors of H1 receptors. First-generation antihistamines cross the blood-brain barrier and can cause sedation. Antihistamines (H1 and H2 antagonists)
    • Epinephrine Epinephrine The active sympathomimetic hormone from the adrenal medulla. It stimulates both the alpha- and beta- adrenergic systems, causes systemic vasoconstriction and gastrointestinal relaxation, stimulates the heart, and dilates bronchi and cerebral vessels. Sympathomimetic Drugs
    • Corticosteroids Corticosteroids Chorioretinitis
    • IV fluids IV fluids Intravenous fluids are one of the most common interventions administered in medicine to approximate physiologic bodily fluids. Intravenous fluids are divided into 2 categories: crystalloid and colloid solutions. Intravenous fluids have a wide variety of indications, including intravascular volume expansion, electrolyte manipulation, and maintenance fluids. Intravenous Fluids

Prevention:

  • Venom immunotherapy is effective at reducing the chance of recurrent anaphylaxis Anaphylaxis An acute hypersensitivity reaction due to exposure to a previously encountered antigen. The reaction may include rapidly progressing urticaria, respiratory distress, vascular collapse, systemic shock, and death. Type I Hypersensitivity Reaction.
  • Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with previous anaphylaxis Anaphylaxis An acute hypersensitivity reaction due to exposure to a previously encountered antigen. The reaction may include rapidly progressing urticaria, respiratory distress, vascular collapse, systemic shock, and death. Type I Hypersensitivity Reaction to stings should carry an epinephrine Epinephrine The active sympathomimetic hormone from the adrenal medulla. It stimulates both the alpha- and beta- adrenergic systems, causes systemic vasoconstriction and gastrointestinal relaxation, stimulates the heart, and dilates bronchi and cerebral vessels. Sympathomimetic Drugs syringe.

Scorpion sting management

Most stings only require supportive care. Care for venomous scorpions may include:

  • Observation for at least 4 hours
  • Intubation Intubation Peritonsillar Abscess for impending respiratory failure Respiratory failure Respiratory failure is a syndrome that develops when the respiratory system is unable to maintain oxygenation and/or ventilation. Respiratory failure may be acute or chronic and is classified as hypoxemic, hypercapnic, or a combination of the two. Respiratory Failure
  • Medical therapy:
    • NSAIDs NSAIDS Primary vs Secondary Headaches or opioids Opioids Opiates are drugs that are derived from the sap of the opium poppy. Opiates have been used since antiquity for the relief of acute severe pain. Opioids are synthetic opiates with properties that are substantially similar to those of opiates. Opioid Analgesics for pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
    • Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines Benzodiazepines work on the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor to produce inhibitory effects on the CNS. Benzodiazepines do not mimic GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in humans, but instead potentiate GABA activity. Benzodiazepines for muscle spasms Spasms An involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles. Spasms may involve skeletal muscle or smooth muscle. Ion Channel Myopathy
    • IV antihypertensives Antihypertensives The 1st-line medication classes for hypertension include thiazide-like diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEis), angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), and calcium channel blockers (CCBS). Contraindications, adverse effects, and drug-to-drug interactions are agent specific. Hypertension Drugs, as needed
  • Antivenom for skeletal muscle and/or cranial nerve dysfunction

Differential Diagnosis

  • Spider Spider Arthropods of the class arachnida, order araneae. Except for mites and ticks, spiders constitute the largest order of arachnids, with approximately 37, 000 species having been described. The majority of spiders are harmless, although some species can be regarded as moderately harmful since their bites can lead to quite severe local symptoms. Spider Bites bite: the brown recluse spider Spider Arthropods of the class arachnida, order araneae. Except for mites and ticks, spiders constitute the largest order of arachnids, with approximately 37, 000 species having been described. The majority of spiders are harmless, although some species can be regarded as moderately harmful since their bites can lead to quite severe local symptoms. Spider Bites contains a necrotizing venom Necrotizing Venom Spider Bites that can lead to a painful, blistering, necrotic wound; fevers; myalgias Myalgias Painful sensation in the muscles. Tick-borne Encephalitis Virus; hemolysis; seizures Seizures A seizure is abnormal electrical activity of the neurons in the cerebral cortex that can manifest in numerous ways depending on the region of the brain affected. Seizures consist of a sudden imbalance that occurs between the excitatory and inhibitory signals in cortical neurons, creating a net excitation. The 2 major classes of seizures are focal and generalized. Seizures; and renal failure Renal failure Conditions in which the kidneys perform below the normal level in the ability to remove wastes, concentrate urine, and maintain electrolyte balance; blood pressure; and calcium metabolism. Renal insufficiency can be classified by the degree of kidney damage (as measured by the level of proteinuria) and reduction in glomerular filtration rate. Crush Syndrome. A black widow spider Spider Arthropods of the class arachnida, order araneae. Except for mites and ticks, spiders constitute the largest order of arachnids, with approximately 37, 000 species having been described. The majority of spiders are harmless, although some species can be regarded as moderately harmful since their bites can lead to quite severe local symptoms. Spider Bites’s neurotoxic venom Neurotoxic Venom Spider Bites can cause muscle cramping and rigidity Rigidity Continuous involuntary sustained muscle contraction which is often a manifestation of basal ganglia diseases. When an affected muscle is passively stretched, the degree of resistance remains constant regardless of the rate at which the muscle is stretched. This feature helps to distinguish rigidity from muscle spasticity. Megacolon, vital sign instability, lacrimation, salivation, ptosis Ptosis Cranial Nerve Palsies, and respiratory distress. The diagnosis is clinical. Management includes wound care, pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways management, antivenom for black widow spider Spider Arthropods of the class arachnida, order araneae. Except for mites and ticks, spiders constitute the largest order of arachnids, with approximately 37, 000 species having been described. The majority of spiders are harmless, although some species can be regarded as moderately harmful since their bites can lead to quite severe local symptoms. Spider Bites bites, and delayed debridement Debridement The removal of foreign material and devitalized or contaminated tissue from or adjacent to a traumatic or infected lesion until surrounding healthy tissue is exposed. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome of necrotic tissue in brown recluse bites.
  • Snakebite: Evidence of envenomation at the bite site includes edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema, erythema Erythema Redness of the skin produced by congestion of the capillaries. This condition may result from a variety of disease processes. Chalazion, warmth, bullae Bullae Erythema Multiforme, and necrosis Necrosis The death of cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury or failure of the blood supply. Ischemic Cell Damage. Systemic symptoms such as nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics, diaphoresis, paresthesias Paresthesias Subjective cutaneous sensations (e.g., cold, warmth, tingling, pressure, etc.) that are experienced spontaneously in the absence of stimulation. Posterior Cord Syndrome, and altered sensorium may be present. In addition, coral snake Snake Limbless reptiles of the suborder serpentes. Snakebites venom can cause flaccid muscles. The diagnosis is clinical. Management includes supportive care, pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways control, hydration, and antivenom.  Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship are monitored closely for shock Shock Shock is a life-threatening condition associated with impaired circulation that results in tissue hypoxia. The different types of shock are based on the underlying cause: distributive (↑ cardiac output (CO), ↓ systemic vascular resistance (SVR)), cardiogenic (↓ CO, ↑ SVR), hypovolemic (↓ CO, ↑ SVR), obstructive (↓ CO), and mixed. Types of Shock, coagulopathy, respiratory failure Respiratory failure Respiratory failure is a syndrome that develops when the respiratory system is unable to maintain oxygenation and/or ventilation. Respiratory failure may be acute or chronic and is classified as hypoxemic, hypercapnic, or a combination of the two. Respiratory Failure, and renal failure Renal failure Conditions in which the kidneys perform below the normal level in the ability to remove wastes, concentrate urine, and maintain electrolyte balance; blood pressure; and calcium metabolism. Renal insufficiency can be classified by the degree of kidney damage (as measured by the level of proteinuria) and reduction in glomerular filtration rate. Crush Syndrome.
  • Asthma Asthma Asthma is a chronic inflammatory respiratory condition characterized by bronchial hyperresponsiveness and airflow obstruction. The disease is believed to result from the complex interaction of host and environmental factors that increase disease predisposition, with inflammation causing symptoms and structural changes. Patients typically present with wheezing, cough, and dyspnea. Asthma: a chronic inflammatory condition resulting in bronchial hyperresponsiveness and airflow obstruction. Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship typically present with wheezing Wheezing Wheezing is an abnormal breath sound characterized by a whistling noise that can be relatively high-pitched and shrill (more common) or coarse. Wheezing is produced by the movement of air through narrowed or compressed small (intrathoracic) airways. Wheezing, cough, and dyspnea Dyspnea Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea. Urticaria Urticaria Urticaria is raised, well-circumscribed areas (wheals) of edema (swelling) and erythema (redness) involving the dermis and epidermis with associated pruritus (itch). Urticaria is not a single disease but rather is a reaction pattern representing cutaneous mast cell degranulation. Urticaria (Hives) and hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension are not generally seen. Diagnosis is confirmed with a pulmonary function test Pulmonary function test Pulmonary function tests are a group of diagnostic procedures yielding useful, quantifiable information about the rate of the flow of air through the individual’s airways, lung capacity, and the efficiency of gas exchange in relation to time. The most commonly utilized tests include spirometry (before and after bronchodilator use), lung volumes, and quantitation of diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (CO). The tests can be influenced by the individual’s effort/fatigue, disease state, or anatomical malformation. Pulmonary Function Tests showing a reversible obstructive pattern. Management is based on symptom severity and may include oxygen therapy, bronchodilators Bronchodilators Asthma Drugs, inhaled corticosteroids Corticosteroids Chorioretinitis, systemic steroids Steroids A group of polycyclic compounds closely related biochemically to terpenes. They include cholesterol, numerous hormones, precursors of certain vitamins, bile acids, alcohols (sterols), and certain natural drugs and poisons. Steroids have a common nucleus, a fused, reduced 17-carbon atom ring system, cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene. Most steroids also have two methyl groups and an aliphatic side-chain attached to the nucleus. Benign Liver Tumors, and intubation Intubation Peritonsillar Abscess for respiratory failure Respiratory failure Respiratory failure is a syndrome that develops when the respiratory system is unable to maintain oxygenation and/or ventilation. Respiratory failure may be acute or chronic and is classified as hypoxemic, hypercapnic, or a combination of the two. Respiratory Failure
  • Hereditary angioedema Hereditary angioedema Forms of hereditary angioedema that occur due to mutations in the gene for complement C1 inhibitor protein. Type I hereditary angioedema is associated with reduced serum levels of complement C1 inhibitor protein. Type II hereditary angioedema is associated with the production of a non-functional complement C1 inhibitor protein. Hereditary Angioedema (C1 Esterase Inhibitor Deficiency): an autosomal dominant Autosomal dominant Autosomal inheritance, both dominant and recessive, refers to the transmission of genes from the 22 autosomal chromosomes. Autosomal dominant diseases are expressed when only 1 copy of the dominant allele is inherited. Autosomal Recessive and Autosomal Dominant Inheritance disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of severe swelling Swelling Inflammation ( angioedema Angioedema Angioedema is a localized, self-limited (but potentially life-threatening), nonpitting, asymmetrical edema occurring in the deep layers of the skin and mucosal tissue. The common underlying pathophysiology involves inflammatory mediators triggering significant vasodilation and increased capillary permeability. Angioedema). Swelling Swelling Inflammation in the airway Airway ABCDE Assessment can restrict breathing and lead to a life-threatening airway Airway ABCDE Assessment obstruction. The diagnosis is made by evaluating levels of C1 inhibitor C1 inhibitor An endogenous 105-kda plasma glycoprotein produced primarily by the liver and monocytes. It inhibits a broad spectrum of proteases, including the complement C1r and the complement C1s proteases of the classical complement pathway, and the mannose-binding protein-associated serine proteases. C1-inh-deficient individuals suffer from hereditary angioedema types I and II. Angioedema in the blood. Management includes danazol Danazol A synthetic steroid with antigonadotropic and anti-estrogenic activities that acts as an anterior pituitary suppressant by inhibiting the pituitary output of gonadotropins. It possesses some androgenic properties. Danazol has been used in the treatment of endometriosis and some benign breast disorders. Antiestrogens, kallikrein Kallikrein Proteolytic enzymes from the serine endopeptidase family found in normal blood and urine. Specifically, kallikreins are potent vasodilators and hypotensives and increase vascular permeability and affect smooth muscle. They act as infertility agents in men. Three forms are recognized, plasma kallikrein, tissue kallikrein, and prostate-specific antigen. Hereditary Angioedema (C1 Esterase Inhibitor Deficiency) inhibitors, and C1 inhibitors. 
  • Botulism Botulism Botulism is a rare, neuroparalytic syndrome caused by Clostridium botulinum (C. botulinum). A fatal neurotoxin (botulinum toxin) is released causing varying degrees of muscle paralysis and distinct clinical syndromes. The most common types of botulism are foodborne and infant. Botulism: a poisoning from Clostridium botulinum Clostridium botulinum A species of anaerobic, gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria in the family clostridiaceae that produces proteins with characteristic neurotoxicity. It is the etiologic agent of botulism in humans, wild fowl, horses; and cattle. Seven subtypes (sometimes called antigenic types, or strains) exist, each producing a different botulinum toxin (botulinum toxins). The organism and its spores are widely distributed in nature. Clostridia toxin that may lead to symmetric cranial nerve palsies Cranial Nerve Palsies Cranial nerve palsy is a congenital or acquired dysfunction of 1 or more cranial nerves that will, in turn, lead to focal neurologic abnormalities in movement or autonomic dysfunction of its territory. Head/neck trauma, mass effect, infectious processes, and ischemia/infarction are among the many etiologies for these dysfunctions. Diagnosis is initially clinical and supported by diagnostic aids. Management includes both symptomatic measures and interventions aimed at correcting the underlying cause. Cranial Nerve Palsies and descending muscle paralysis. Electromyography Electromyography Recording of the changes in electric potential of muscle by means of surface or needle electrodes. Becker Muscular Dystrophy and toxin assays may be used in the diagnosis. Management includes supportive therapy, intubation Intubation Peritonsillar Abscess for respiratory impairment, and antitoxin administration.

References

  1. Golden DBK, Marsh DG, Kagey-Sobotka A, Freidhoff L, Szklo M, Valentine MD, Lichtenstein LM. (1989). Epidemiology of insect venom sensitivity. JAMA.
  2. Mauriello PM, Barde SH, Georgitis JW, Reisman RE. (1984). Natural history of large local reactions from stinging insects. J Allergy Clin Immunol.
  3. Barish, R.A., and Arnold, T. (2020). Insect stings. MSD Manual Professional Version. Retrieved March 24, 2021, from https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/injuries-poisoning/bites-and-stings/insect-stings
  4. Arif, F., and Williams, M. (2020). Hymenoptera stings. [online] StatPearls. Retrieved March 24, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK518972/
  5. Park, R. (2018). Hymenoptera stings. In Alcock, J. (Ed.), Medscape. Retrieved March 24, 2021, from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/768764-overview

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