ARTHROPOD BITES AND STINGS
Bites and stings from venomous arthropods (poisonous insects, spiders, and
scorpions) can result in severe reactions and can even cause death. Even if the
condition is not life threatening, a sting or bite can be severe enough to significantly
reduce a soldier's effectiveness in the performance of his duties. The arthropods most
frequently responsible for such bites and stings in the CONUS are wasps, bees, ants,
caterpillars, spiders, and scorpions. You must be able to quickly identify the injury,
properly treat the casualty, and either evacuate the casualty or return him to duty.
a. The term "arthropod" refers to animals having a hard, jointed exoskeleton,
and paired, jointed legs. The term includes true insects (such as wasps, bees, ants,
and moths), arachnids (such as spiders, scorpions, ticks, and mites), and certain other
animals such as centipedes. Many times, all harmful arthropods are covered under the
general term "biting insects."
b. In some geographical locations, certain arthropods have only seasonal
importance while others are present all year round. Because of the danger of
venomous arthropods to humans, their identification, behavior, and control are
important factors in the prevention of bites and stings.
INITIATE TREATMENT TO A CASUALTY WITH AN ARTHROPOD BITE OR
The following are general procedures used to treat a casualty that has been
stung or bitten by an arthropod.
a. Survey the Casualty. Check the casualty for life-threatening conditions,
especially respiratory distress and anaphylactic shock. Perform mouth-to-mouth
b. Expose Bite Area. Loosen or remove the casualty's clothing, including
shoes, to fully expose the site of the bite or sting.
c. Remove Jewelry, If Applicable. If the casualty is wearing any jewelry on the
bitten limb, remove the jewelry and place it in the casualty's pocket or give it to the
casualty. Jewelry is removed because the limb could swell and the jewelry could
interfere with blood circulation.