Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Carpentersville fire Battalion Chief Todd Middendorf’s death was brought on by anaphylactic shock after being stung by bees, according to a medical examiner’s report.

The report, obtained by The Courier-News from the Knox County Regional Forensic Center through a Freedom of Information Act request, notes authorities in Sevier County received a 911 call on July 16 concerning Middendorf, 46. Middendorf died July 18 at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville, Tenn., in Knox County. The report lists the cause of death as “anaphylaxis due to bee sting.”

The Middendorfs have a home in the Sevierville, Tenn., area, where friends said the family intended to retire. The family was on vacation there last month at the time of the incident that led to Middendorf’s death.

Middendorf was well-respected by his fellow firefighters in Carpentersville and surrounding communities. His wake and funeral services July 27 drew a large number of people.

Knox County Chief Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Christopher Lochmuller, an associate professor of pathology with the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, said this summer the center has seen two or three cases, including Middendorf’s, involving anaphylactic shock and stings. Lochmuller said he couldn’t recall a single similar case in his seven years at the Knox County Regional Forensic Center. 

Severe allergic reactions to insect stings or bites are not seen on a regular basis but are not uncommon, said Dr. Mohammad Zaman, who oversees the emergency department at Elgin’s Presence St. Joseph Hospital.

According to statistics provided by Elgin’s Advocate Sherman Hospital, from January 2016 to Aug. 15, 2017, that hospital’s ER had 116 patients who were seen for “toxic effect of venom of bees.”

An allergic reaction to an insect sting or bite can develop at any age, even if someone had been stung before and had no adverse reaction. Such allergies can develop at any age.

Hymenoptera is the insect order that can sting and contains venom. The insects most commonly causing this condition are honeybees, hornets, yellow jackets, fire ants, and wasps.

A key is getting help as soon as possible, as anaphylaxis can happen within five to 20 minutes or up to two hours later, depending on the person and the details of the stinging incident.

Immediate treatment for reactions involves receiving a dose of epinephrine from an injection such as Auvi-Q, Epipen or a generic, then antihistamines and steroids.

thanks Dan

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