Ambulance trust receives fifteen 999 calls for insect bites in a day

A wasp.

A wasp. - Credit: Archant

The region's ambulance service has urged people to think before calling 999 if they get stung by insects this summer.

The East of England Ambulance Service said they received 15 emergency calls from members of the public on Thursday from people who had been stung by bees or wasps.

None of the calls were to people who had suffered a severe allergic reaction and no one required transport to hospital.

Marcus Bailey, consultant paramedic for the NHS trust, said: 'Most insect bites and stings, although they can be painful, are not dangerous and can be treated at home. In order to help reduce the volume of 999 calls and to improve the availability of ambulances to those members of the public who are suffering from serious illnesses and injuries, we're urging people to consider whether their sting is really an emergency.'

'In the majority of cases, stings can be treated at home in the first instant. If your symptoms persist over several days then we'd advise you to contact your GP. Alternatively your local pharmacist may be able to advise you further on what treatment would be best for you.'

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'To treat a bite or sting at home, try washing it with water and applying a cold compress to help reduce itchiness and swelling. For bee stings, you can remove the sting itself with tweezers. If it's painful, over-the-counter tablets such as antihistamines and paracetamol can help. There are also creams and sprays available at the pharmacist.'

Further advice on how to treat bites and stings can be found on the NHS Choices website.

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