SKIN PHARMACOLOGY and THERAPEUTICS

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Bites and Stings

When a person is bitten (ticks, spiders, mites, insects, snakes) or stung (insects, coral), a toxin or allergen initiates an inflammatory reaction to the injury. In cases of dog and cat bites or scratches, aerobic and anerobic bacteria may be introduced into the body. Pasteurella multocida and septica are found in cat bites, Pasteurella canis in dog bites and Bartonella hensclae is associated with cat scratch disease. Human bites may introduce many flora of bacteria into the bite. Proper cultures, cleansing and antibiotic therapy are needed to treat human bites

In addition to dogs, cats and human bites, the following species are known offenders of serious bites and stings: Black widow, brown recluse and hobo spiders; bees, hornets, yellow jackets, wasps, fleas, mosquitoes, fire ants and bedbugs, scorpions, caterpillars, flies; rattlesnakes, cottonmouth and water moccasins.

Human fatalities result from either the direct toxic effect of venom or toxin or severe generalized reactions, including anaphylaxis, to the offending allergen. Treatment depends upon many factors including the age and size of the patient, the amount of allergen, venom, or toxin exposure, the signs (objective data) and symptoms (subjective data) of the bite or sting site as well as overall vital signs and reactions occuring within the patient.

If patients are experiencing severe cardiopulmonary or severe systemic reactions to the injury, then they should be immediately and safely transferred to facilities capable of handling cardiopulmonary, vascular or systemic emergencies.

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