What are complications of insect bites during pregnancy?

Updated: Jun 21, 2018
  • Author: Boyd (Bo) D Burns, DO, FACEP, FAAEM; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Answer

Studies on treatment of anaphylaxis in pregnancy are primarily based in the obstetric literature and generally are case reports dealing with hymenopteran stings. Again, many patients confuse an insect bite with a sting and may use the terms interchangeably. The following adverse outcomes have been reported in case reports following hymenoptera envenomation during pregnancy and are included in this article because of their importance [23] :

  • Preterm delivery occurred at 35 weeks' gestation despite tocolysis and cerclage and attributed to a "postanaphylactic reaction" from a wasp sting.

  • A woman aged 31 years developed severe anaphylaxis after bee sting at 30 weeks' gestation. Preterm labor occurred at 35 weeks' gestation, and the infant was found to be cyanotic and hypotonic. The infant died at age 65 days, and the cause of death was determined to be encephalomalacia from maternal anaphylaxis.

  • A woman aged 21 years at 40 weeks' gestation developed severe anaphylaxis from an ant sting and then developed placental abruption and intrauterine death 16 hours later. This was tentatively attributed to the anaphylactic response and epinephrine administration. [23]


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