Hypersensitivity and Bee Stings

Topics: Immune system, Asthma, Bee sting Pages: 2 (395 words) Published: April 24, 2013

Heidi Schoen
Anatomy and Physiology 2
Unit 4 Assignment 1


The cause of hypersensitivity to bee stings lays in the persons anti-bodies. Bee sting venom contains proteins that affect skin cells and the immune system. This type of reaction is known as a systemic reaction and is an allergic reaction that happens to people who have developed anti-bodies against the insect venom from a previous sting.

What happens in a person with a severe allergic reaction to bee venom who gets stung is they can experience difficulty breathing, wheezing, hives, hoarseness, swelling of the mouth and tongue, rapid pulse, anxiety, dizziness, and a rapid drop in blood pressure, which in some cases can cause unconsciousness and lead to death. Severe allergic reactions such as those listed above, can cause cardiac arrest, and shock within 10 minutes. Therefore it is imperative to seek medical assistance as soon as any of these symptoms appear.

This type of systemic reaction is treated with Epinephrine, which is adrenaline, and sometimes Benadryl, which is an antihistamine, and used for allergies of all kinds. If the person knows they are allergic to bee stings, they should carry an EPI-Pen with them at all times. This is a single dose injection of Epinephrine which should be administered in the muscle on the front of the thigh. The draw-back of this type of EPI-pen is it is only a single dose and most often times another dose of epinephrine is needed to counteract the bee venom. Medical treatment MUST be sought even after administering the EPI-pen.

Adults tend to have more severe reactions than children and are more likely to die of anaphylaxis shock. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction marked by a sharp sudden drop in blood pressure that can render the person unconscious, and can sometimes be fatal. HYPERSENSITIVITY AND BEE STINGS3

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