Insect Bites Workup

Updated: Oct 13, 2021
  • Author: Boyd (Bo) D Burns, DO, FACEP, FAAEM; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Laboratory Studies

Laboratory studies are seldom necessary. Appropriate laboratory studies should be ordered if the patient is compromised severely and requires hospital admission or end-organ failure is suspected, or for evaluation of secondary complications such as cellulitis.

Biopsy of lesions generally is nondeterminant and is impractical in the ED.

Microscopic examination of skin scrapings can be useful in the diagnosis of scabies or mite infestations but are not useful for most insect bites.

Serology studies may be useful in determining infection due to an insect vector, but these are not available in the ED and may take weeks to obtain a result.