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Man with no known allergies killed in an hour by yellow jackets
January 15, 2017
A Florida man died just an hour after being stung by four yellow jackets while working in the yard last month, according to Fox 13. John Clarke, 53, was getting rid of weeds in the yard when he happened upon a yellow jacket nest.
After being stung, he went into the house and told his wife about the incident and that the stings were really painful. Within 30 minutes, he was having trouble breathing and his face was feeling numb, so he told his wife he wanted to go to the hospital.
"I realized, at this point, something was going very wrong. I was holding his hand and he was like 'I love you.' And I was like 'I love you too.' And just the way he, kind of like, settled in, it made me a little bit nervous," his wife, Julie Clarke told Fox 13.
John stopped breathing shortly after, and Julie performed CPR until the paramedics arrived. Doctors were unable to revive him, according to Fox 13.
A GoFundMe account has been established to help the family. They have raised more than $18,000.
Treating Yellow Jacket Stings
Yellow jacket stings are painful, but in most people the reaction is minor swelling, and it would take a lot of bee stings to prove fatal. Individuals who are allergic to bee stings are particularly sensitive and can die in as little as five minutes after a sting if they aren't treated, according to the MultiCare Vitals blog.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- Difficulty breathing
Doctors encourage individuals with a history of allergies to carry an EpiPen. This shot can save the life of an individual with allergies in an emergency.
Red skin around the sting site indicates a local reaction and usually requires only a cold compress to reduce pain and swelling. An antihistamine can also help reduce swelling.
"If hives become visible after a sting, but the person’s breathing is normal, they should make sure to remain in the presence of others aware of the sting. Delayed allergic reactions are not too common, but are very possible, and if that person begins having difficulty breathing they needed to be taken to the hospital immediately,” Dr. Bret Lambert of the emergency department at MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital told MultiCare Vitals.