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Emergency Treatment for Insect Stings

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The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine at The Good Samaritan Hospital; Baltimore, Maryland

Ann Intern Med. 1979;90(1):119-120. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-90-1-119
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The scientific basis for the diagnosis and treatment of persons susceptible to systemic reactions to insect stings was less than clear until the application of Sutton's Law. (When bank robber Willy Sutton was asked why he repeatedly robbed banks, he replied: "That's where the money is" [1].) When dilutions of venom are used diagnostically in skin testing, evidence of prior sensitization is easily obtained (2). Studies in vitro have confirmed that such sensitivity is IgE mediated. When venoms are used for immunization, the resultant IgG antibodies appear to protect from anaphylactic reactions to future stings (3). The venom skin test


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