Thursday, August 25, 2011

West Rocks Middle School Teacher Dies from Bee Sting


Carla Mortelliti, a beloved teacher who taught mathematics at West Rocks Middle School in Norwalk died Wednesday while gardening outside the colonial Wilton home she had recently bought with her husband. Mortelliti died after being stung by a bee, said Lynne Moore, the principal of the school. One week before her death, Moore said that Mortelliti told a colleague she had discovered a beehive on the property. She was not aware of her allergy, however. "It's a reminder of how fragile our lives are,"said Moore. Mortelliti had recently moved to
Kellogg Drive
in Wilton with her husband, Jose Torres. To pay tribute to Mortelliti, Moore said the school may expand its Peace Garden. Other memorial services will be planned in coming days.

What Are the Symptoms of an Insect Sting Allergy?

Symptoms of a severe insect sting allergy (called an anaphylactic reaction) may include one or more of the following:

• Difficulty breathing

• Hives that appear as a red, itchy rash and spread to areas beyond the sting

• Swelling of the face, throat, or mouth tissue

• Wheezing or difficulty swallowing

• Restlessness and anxiety

• Rapid pulse

• Dizziness or a sharp drop in blood pressure

Although severe allergic reactions are not that common, they can lead to shock, cardiac arrest, and unconsciousness in 10 minutes or less. This type of reaction can occur within minutes after a sting and can be fatal. Get emergency treatment as soon as possible.

Points for Discussion:
  • It is a tragedy to lose anyone to an insect bite which could occur at any time. ANAPHYLACTIC REACTIONs to bee stings can be FATAL. The following comments are the lesson that this tragedy can teach all of us.
  • Coordinating with your doctor to determine if you have this allergy or any other is important. 
  • If allergic to bees, having a BEE STING KIT is critical which normally contains an EPI-PEN (which is a prescription drug).
    • Like an inhaler for a student with asthma, a student not having an inhaler or bee sting kit available is a bad thing. If an attack is triggered, there is no more helpless feeling than having someone go into shock or not be able to breath as you stand by not being able to have them take the lifesaving medication they should have with them.
  • As educators and educational leaders, knowing the allergies or breathing difficulties of our students and faculty / employees is important to keep everyone safe. 
  • Taking students and fellow faculty members outside and on field trips can increase risks which need to be factored into your school preparedness planning.
Accidents can occur at anytime, being aware and prepared can sometimes
prevent or mitigate these tragedies.

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