Hadleigh: Mum almost dies after wasp sting
08:00 14 September 2013
A woman who nearly died after she was stung by a wasp has warned people with severe allergies to wear medical alert bracelets identifying their condition.
Clare Hinsley, 43, was walking with her partner Jeff Martin across fields near their Hadleigh home when one of her pet dogs unearthed a wasps’ nest in the ground.
The insects first swarmed around the dog and as it ran past Ms Hinsley, two of the wasps flew into her hair and stung her on the head. Just minutes later, she went into anaphylactic shock and had to be airlifted to hospital.
She said: “I knew that I had an allergy to wasp stings but the last time I reacted was 19 years ago and that time it was mainly a skin reaction so I managed to get it under control with antihistamine tablets. I had some tests earlier this year, which confirmed I was allergic to wasp stings so both Jeff and I were aware of it.
“But this time when I was stung, my hands and feet started to tingle, I felt ill, my breathing became shallow and my heartbeat was all over the place. According to Jeff, I sat down, my eyes rolled and I passed out, which was the anaphylaxis kicking in.”
Mr Martin called for assistance and a land ambulance and the air ambulance arrived at the scene shortly after. Paramedics administered a mix of steroids and adrenalin and airlifted Ms Hinsley to Ipswich Hospital.
“It was a real wake-up call and it’s frightening to think that if I had been on my own, I could have died,” added Ms Hinsley, who has two teenage sons. “Because we knew I was allergic to wasp stings, the doctors were able to treat me straight away, which is what saved my life. I have now been given an EpiPen auto-injector which contains a shot of adrenalin and I wear a medical alert bracelet which notifies anyone who finds me that I have a potentially serious medical condition.
“If I was on my own and had been found by a stranger, the bracelet could have alerted them to my allergy and it may have been a lifesaver in those circumstances. I would advise anyone with an allergy to wear one.”