Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare and Carris Health care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to helps us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Easy Ways to Treat Insect Stings at Home

Published in Wellness Tag: David Ross, MD,MBA  

Author: David Ross, MD, MBA

Ouch! You went head-to-head with a bee, and the bee won. Now what?

It may sting (pun intended), but most stings are harmless and can be treated at home.

  • Remove the stinger by scraping the area with a fingernail or using tweezers. Just don't pinch it out. Pinching the stinger may inject more venom.
  • Control the swelling with ice. If you can elevate the part of your body that was stung. Remove any tight fitting jewelry from the area of the sting. As it swells, rings or bracelets may be difficult to remove.
  • Take an over-the-counter painkiller like acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain. Calamine lotion and/or an antihistamine like Bernadene may help with itchiness. If you don't have calamine lotion, try a mixture of baking soda and water.
  • Stings will clear up on their own, but they may take a few days to heal. Be sure to keep the area clean to prevent infections.

Some people may have more serious—and in some cases life-threatening—reactions to insect stings.

  • Trouble breathing
  • A swollen tongue
  • Hoarseness or trouble speaking
  • Nausea, abdominal pain or vomiting
  • Fast heartbeat or pulse
  • Skin that severely itches, tingles, swells or turns red
  • Feelings of faintness or dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness

If you or the person stung has any of these symptoms or a history of severe allergic reactions to stings, call 911 immediately.

Many people who know they are allergic to insect stings will have some sort of action plan. Follow that plan. If the person has an epinephrine shot (Pepin), they should use it if they can. If they cannot, inject it for them in the outer muscle of the thigh. Follow the instructions carefully. Should the person stop breathing, begin CPR until medical assistance arrives.

Don't let these pesky insects get the best of you! Avoid further stings by wearing protective clothing, using insect repellent and avoiding infested areas.