Tick Removal With Tweezers
Every field first aid kit should have a pair of fine pointed tweezers. These special tweezers serve a dual purpose roll - they are good for removing small splinters and for tick removal.
It is very important that the tick not be crushed while being removed. If the tick is crushed, there is a chance that the fluids from the tick will be injected under the persons skin. This is one of the primary causes of infection, is when the ticks guts and bodily fluids are injected into the tissue of the victim.
When the person sees the tick, one of their first instincts is to grab the tick and pull it off. If a member of your family or hiking / camping group yells tick, or they have a tick - take control of the situation at once. Instruct the person not to grab the tick, tell them to stop and someone will remove the tick for them. Talk to the victim in a calm, clear voice. If the tick is attached, waiting a few more minutes for proper removal is not going to hurt anything. Consider this, how long has the tick been attached? It could have been there for hours, especially if it was under the persons clothes. So a few more minutes is not going to hurt anything.
While on a recent hiking trip, my nephew found a tick on his chest while he was swimming. We had been hiking for about 3 - 4 hours. So we had no idea how long the tick had been attached.
This picture is of my nephews chest with a lone star tick attached just above the nipple.
Have the victim sit down, or get in a position where they will not be moving during the tick removal.
Use the fine pointed tweezers, grab the tick where the body of the tick comes in contact with the victim and slowly pull. The tick should detach. If too much pressure is applied, the head of the tick might break away from the body. If the tick is pulled from the victim too fast, the head of the tick might detach. Do not just grab the tick with the tweezers and yank real fast. And do not grab the tick by the body. Place the tweezers between the ticks head and body and gently pull the tick away from the victim.
In this real life situation, the tick was safely removed with the head intact.
Some people say to use oil, or use a match and burn the tick off. I have not tried either of these methods, nor do I plan on it.
After the tick is removed, treat the bite area with some type of antibiotic ointment. In this case iodine was used.
The tick that was removed is a Lone Star Tick. This type of tick is aggressive in seeking out its victim. Unlike a lot of ticks, the Lone Star Tick can "sense" when a person or animal is near by. The tick will then try to find its victim and attach itself. The adult females have a distinct white spot on their back and males have white markings around the outside of their back. This tick species can transmit ehrlichiosis, Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and tularemia.
Once a tick is removed, check the site of the bite for a rash, or any kind of discoloration every few hours, then at 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours and a week later. If a circle rash appears, contact a doctor or emergency room at once.
24 hours after the removal of the tick my nephew, he showed no signs of infection, nor did his skin display any redness.
Notice the white speck on the body of the tick, this is an example of a Lone Star Tick.
My nephew did not want to video the actual removal of the tick. I can respect his wishes on that. So the tick was removed, head intact, and then my son filmed the video.
Some states have health departments that will test the ticks for diseases, but the tick must be shipped alive and in a sealed container. Most of the time only ticks that were removed from a human can be sent in for testing. Check the Department of State Health Services of your state for instructions on tick testing.
For more information see the Texas Tick website - http://www.ticktexas.org/