Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Texas EMS Conference - Day 3

The first session of the morning was entitled "The Emergency Reponse to Africanized Honey Bees" by Dr. Bryan Bledsoe. Here are some points he brought up:
  • Because someone is stung so many times in an Africanized attack there is not only an allergic reaction risk but also a risk of invenomnation. Even though the venom is no more potent than European bees' but because they sting more during an attack more venom is introduced to the stingee.
  • It's hard to tell the difference between africanized and European bees.
  • Bee venom contains histamine, pheromones, enzymes, peptides, acids and amino acids.
  • Brazilian researchers were experimenting with interbreeding africanized and European honey bees to try to get more honey. Several swarms escaped and the bees began to spread north.
  • The bees migrate north at about 200 miles per year. They are now around San Francisco across the country and are even found in Florida.
  • Africanized bees prefer to nest in the ground.
  • It's important to make a plan to respond to bee attacks.
  • Persons who are allergic should not respond to bee attacks even if they are on duty to avoid EMS personnel becoming patients.
  • It's a good idea to have a list of experts in dealing with africanized bees to assist.
  • A good thing to also have a bee response cache with beekeeping clothing, duct tape, and allergic reaction meds.
  • Fire personnel can use water to knock the bees down enough to affect a rescue, but this is only temporary. In order to kill the bees foam or soapy water must be used.
  • There is a device called BeeAlert™ which can be deployed to kill the bees. It uses a proprietary surfactant in a fog which will drown bees. The product can also be sprayed on victims to kill the attacking bees.
  • Victims need to be carefully evaluated for systemic versus localized reactions. Remove the stingers to relieve pain and stop continuing envenomnation. Consider prophylactic diphenhydramine. Victims with systemic reactions should be transported.
Dr. Bledsoe was the speaker for the next session entitled "Neurological Trauma." He reviewed the physiology of brain injury, signs and symptoms, and treatment options. It was a very good review with some new things - at least new to me.

The Hilton had hot water problems again this morning. My roomie told me he waited about an hour for the hot water to come for his shower in the evening. I don't think we'll stay in this hotel again.

Overall, it was a good event. I learned a bit from the sessions I attended - lots of new information.

Now, it comes time to head home. I hope the traffic isn't too bad. Considering this is the busiest travel day of the year, I'm not too optimistic.

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