Crown of Thorns Starfish Sting
Like most starfish and sea urchins the crown-of-thorns packs a particularly potent venom from its puncture wound poison injury.
The thorns are sharp enough and sufficiently stout to pierce even a relatively thick wetsuit.
The toxin released from a crown-of-thorns spine envenomation may cause nausea, vomiting, significant stinging pain, and paralysis in rare cases.
Crown of Thorns Sting Symptoms
- Immediate and often severe pain
- Significant bleeding and swelling at the injury site
- Numbness, headaches, weakness, tingling
- Nausea, vomiting, joint aches, coughing
Note: Symptoms usually persist from 30 minutes to 3 hours before resolving.
Crown of Thorns Sting Treatment
- Immerse the affected area in water as hot as the person can tolerate for 30 to 90 minutes
- Repeat as necessary to control pain (water temperature should not exceed 140 F or 60 C)
- Some stings may require an injected local anesthetic for pain relief
- Use tweezers to remove any spines in the wound because symptoms may not resolve until all spines have been removed
- Occasionally the spines may remain in the wound and will require a health care professional to remove them
- Scrub the wound with soap and water followed by extensive rinsing with fresh water
- Do not cover the wound with tape or any other type of occlusive dressing as it may increase the risk of an infection
- A tetanus booster is often recommended for patients with these types of wounds
- Apply hydrocortisone cream 2 to 3 times daily as needed for itching
- Discontinue immediately if any signs of infection appear
- Oral antibiotics are usually recommended to treat an infection
These guidelines are recommended in treating a crown-of-thorns puncture wound when medical attention is not immediately available.
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