First aid on a summer day in the field

A guide to learn how to act in the event of a snake, wasp or centipede bite

We tend to associate vacations and summer with the beach, but that’s not always the case. Many Spaniards prefer to spend their holidays in rural houses or campsitesaway from the crowded beaches and enjoying the forests and meadows that the interior of the peninsula offers us. A very interesting option, but like the beaches, it is not free from dangers that can ruin a relaxing day in the countryside.

nettle sting

Both the edges of the leaves and the stems of these herbaceous plants have burning hair They act like small needles. These hairs are blister-shaped, filled with an irritating fluid, and end in a sharp end. Upon contact with the skin, the sharp part causes a small perforation, the blister bursts and the contents spill out onto this perforation.

This fluid consists mainly of histamine and formic acid, which cause intense urticaria accompanied by urticaria and a burning sensation.

How should we proceed?

The reaction caused by a nettle sting is as irritating and intense as it is brief, which is good, it won’t last long. To ease the symptoms we’ll fall fresh water on the bite site, since formic acid is water soluble, we avoid scratching and apply cold compresses or ice wrapped in a cloth for a few minutes.

Popular culture recommends using herbs such as mint, sage, or elderberry, and this usually helps, albeit with variable results and no hard scientific evidence in this regard. It won’t hurt us and it can help us.

Snake bite

The snakes that you can find while walking in the countryside are not interested in attacking you, it is better to let them go, but if they bite you Don’t be scared. Not a single indigenous species of the Iberian Peninsula has a bite that is fatal to humans, except in special cases when a person suffered from certain pathologies.

But just because its bite isn’t fatal doesn’t mean it’s not poisonous, and it’s one of the thirteen snake species found on the peninsula. five poisonous: viper snake, Cantabrian viper and snout, as well as one and a half snake and cogull.

The poison usually acts at the level of the blood, changing how our blood clots, causing it to clot. The symptoms we will feel are severe pain in the area of ​​the bite, burning, swelling and discoloration of the skin.

How should we proceed?

If we are bitten by a poisonous snake, we must go to the medical center receive the appropriate antidote and treatment. We will call 911 to report what has happened and at the most we will give the victim water or paracetamol if the pain is severe. We will never apply a tourniquet or cut a bite to remove venom, ice the bite or feed the victim, as these can be harmful.

Wasp or bee sting

The bite of one of these insects usually not a big deal, unless the victim is allergic to its venom or we are attacked by a whole swarm. To avoid becoming a target, it is not recommended to eat fruit outdoors or use perfume, as well as walking near beehives or wasp nests.

How should we proceed?

If the casualty has an allergy, they will most likely carry a pre-filled adrenaline pen, which they should use as instructed by the allergy nurse. If this is not the case and a normal reaction is triggered, most often, we will wash the bite site soap and water and apply cold. If the sting is stuck, remove it with tweezers.

centipede bite

The bite of the centipede, known colloquially as the centipede, very painful. It is far from fatal, but there are several cases where the victim passed out due to the intense pain caused by its venom. If you want to avoid being bitten, be especially careful in wet and rocky areas.

How should we proceed?

To reduce inflammation, we will use it’s cold in that area, and to calm the pain, we’ll take painkillers ordinary. If the symptoms in the area of ​​the bite worsen or do not improve within a few hours, we will visit a medical center.


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