The Anaphylaxis Campaign is saddened to learn of the death of Lee Darker, a 48-year-old pest controller who was stung by a wasp during a routine call out on the 17th September 2017.
An inquest into his death held in Harrogate, North Yorkshire heard that he died after experiencing a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis after being stung by a wasp. It was noted at the inquest, that Lee had no known allergies and had previously been stung two weeks earlier 8 times but did not suffer any reaction.
The Senior coroner for the western area of North Yorkshire, Robert Turnbull recorded a conclusion of misadventure. He told the hearing: “It’s a tragic outcome. He died as a result of anaphylactic shock. He was going about his business and died not anticipating this would happen.”
Chief Executive of the Anaphylaxis Campaign, Lynne Regent, said:
“We are very saddened to learn about the death of Mr Darker as a result of this tragic accident and our thoughts are with his family and friends as they process the findings from the inquest into his death.
For a small minority of people, an allergy to the venom in a bee or wasp sting can cause a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, which can be fatal. If you experience a severe reaction to a bee or wasp sting, it’s important that you are taken to A&E and afterwards visit your GP as soon as possible to discuss treatment options.”
You may not have an allergic reaction the first time you are stung by a wasp or bee but there is a small risk that subsequent stings could lead to a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. In the UK, venom anaphylaxis is the second most frequent cause of anaphylaxis outside medical settings and more people are allergic to wasps than bees.
If you are at risk of insect venom anaphylaxis and would like more information and support, please call our national helpline on 01252 542029 or contact [email protected].
The Anaphylaxis Campaign partners with the Bee Resistant campaign to raise awareness about insect venom anaphylaxis. The campaign provides information on the symptoms to look out for and the range of avoidance and treatment options available to help reduce the risk:
‘Bee aware’ of the symptoms:
- Feeling unwell and dizzy
- Rapidly spreading rash
- Wheezing and a tight chest
- Swelling of the airways and throat
- Weakness (caused by a drop-in blood pressure)
- Physical collapse
‘Bee resistant’ by taking steps to reduce the risk:
- Prevention – follow avoidance advice and tips.
- Treatment – there are a range of treatment options available on the NHS to treat anaphylaxis which include carrying adrenaline auto-injectors and specialist treatments available from hospital-based allergy clinics.
‘Bee in the know’ – find out more:
- In the event of a serious allergic reaction, call 999 immediately and state “anaphylaxis”.
- Consult your GP for further information and guidance.