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Allergy: Insect Sting (cont.)

Exams and Tests

One or more prior severe reactions to an insect sting place you at an increased risk of severe reactions with each sting.

  • It is important to let the health care provider know that you have been stung and whether you have had reactions in the past.
  • Be prepared to tell the health care provider all of the medications you have taken for the sting, both prescription and over-the-counter. Don't forget any herbal preparations or other treatments you may have taken.
Physical examination is the most important part of the evaluation of insect stings.

  • Your blood pressure and pulse will be checked to make sure you are not in shock.
  • Examination should also include the skin for swelling and hives, the lungs for wheezing, and the upper airway for possible swelling or obstruction.
An ECG or chest x-ray may be helpful but is not needed in every case.

Laboratory tests are usually not helpful.

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

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Portier and Richet first coined the term anaphylaxis in 1902 when a second vaccinating dose of sea anemone toxin caused a dog's death.

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