Stings - marine animals; Bites - marine animals
This injury is described as a poisonous bite or sting from any form of marine life.
- The majority of these types of stings occur in salt water.
- Some types of marine stings or bites can be deadly.
Causes include bites or stings from various types of marine life including: jellyfish, Portuguese Man-of-War, stingray, stonefish, scorpion fish, catfish, sea urchins, sea anemone, hydroid, coral, cone shell, moray eels, sharks, barracudas, and electric eels.
- Localized symptoms o Pain o Burning o Swelling o Redness o Laceration, bleeding
- Generalized symptoms o Groin pain, armpit pain o Cramps o Fever o Sweating o Weakness, faintness, dizziness o Nausea or vomiting o Diarrhea o Difficulty breathing o Paralysis
- Keep the victim quiet and still.
- Wear gloves, if possible when removing stingers.
- Wipe off stingers or tentacles with a towel.
- Wash the area with salt water.
- Soak the wound in as hot of water as the patient can tolerate for 30-90 minutes, if instructed to do so by trained personnel.
- For some types of stings/bites, you may be instructed to apply vinegar or a meat tenderizer/water solution to neutralize the venom.
- DO NOT attempt to remove stingers without protecting your own hands.
- DO NOT raise the affected body part above the level of the heart.
- DO NOT allow the victim to exercise.
- DO NOT give any medication, unless told to do so by a physician.
Call immediately for emergency medical assistance if
- The victim has generalized symptoms.
- The victim has difficulty breathing.
- There is uncontrollable bleeding.
- Swim near a lifeguard.
- Observe posted signs that may warn of danger from jellyfish or other hazardous marine life.
- Do not touch unfamiliar marine life. Even dead animals or severed tentacles may contain poisonous venom.
by Sharon M. Smith, M.D.
All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.