Have you ever been bitten by a centipede? I have not but in my line of work over the years I have treated many people bitten by centipede. Luckily, no one died. Centipede bites are not deadly but are very painful. That I can say!
Centipedes use the venom in their saliva when they bite to kill their prey. And it is this venom that causes severe pain.
This is what wikipedia says about symptoms of centipede bites:
- severe pain, which is usually proportional to the size of the centipede
- swelling and redness
- skin necrosis
- local bleeding
- swollen, painful lymph nodes in the regions of the bitten limb
- palpitations or a racing pulse
- nausea and vomiting, although this is rare
- local itching and burning sensations.
The most serious thing that can happen is a severe allergic reaction leading to swelling, fast heart beat and drop in blood pressure. But this is rare.
What can you at home prior to going to the hospital?
- Wash the bite site with water and soap. This will help remove any venom on the surface. Do this as soon as possible. You can also squeeze around the bite site to remove any venom in the tissue. And wash off the bite site thoroughly with soap and water.
- Wash the bite site with vinegar. This is from my own use of vinegar in patients I treat. It helps reduces the pain and destroys the toxins.
- After washing and cleaning, put your feet where the bite has occurred in a warm dish/large bowl of warm water (not too hot that it burns the skin). Alternatively soak a piece of cloth or face towel in warm water and place it over the bite site. Leave it there for about 5-10 minutes and repeat 3-4 times. Almost all toxins in nature are made of protein. Heat denatures and destroys small protein molecules therefore doing this will help destroy the venom.
- Take tyelenol (paracetamol) for pain.
This is first aid treatment at home. At the hospital/clinic the doctor may give you anti-allergic medicine. And may give stronger pain killer medicine if the pain is too strong. Sometimes I rub anesthetic gel over the bite site. It helps sooths the pain.