As the summer continues and the hot weather prevails, tick bites become more common. With better weather, people are more likely to be outdoors. Many people enjoy walking in the parks, hiking, biking, among other outdoor activities.
Important considerations when a patient presents with tick. As we all are aware, ticks are known to carry Lyme Disease and ither illnesses which can result in serious health complications. Lymes disease still has many unknowns and so it is very important to be prepared to take action when a patient appears with a tick attached.
So what do practitioners need to know and be ready for when the patient presents with a tick.
When did the patient become aware of the tick?
What has the patient been doing for the past several days? It is important to try and pinpoint when the tick may have attached.
Tick removal should be done very carefully so a sample can be tested if needed.
If the tick has been on board, attached to the skin, for more than 72 hours, there is a much greater potential of a lyme transmission. Under specific circumstances in Lyme endemic areas, antibiotic prophylaxis may be warranted.
On the other hand, current thought is if the tick has been attached for less than 24 hours, tick borne illnesses are less likely to follow.
After removed, the patient needs to understand to keep a close eye on the area to see if a rash develops or other Lyme symptoms are present. Be sure patients are told to follow up if a rash appears to see a healthcare provider immediately. Otherwise, Lyme disease could be on the horizon causing heart problems, skin issues, damage to the nervous system among other issues.
Patient education is paramount in a tick incident. As always, be vigilant and aware of the consequences associated with tick born illnesses and the necessary treatment.
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