Jellyfish Sting - Stinging Hydroids Coral Anemones
It is estimated that there are almost ten thousand different kinds of jellyfish.
Jellyfish tentacles contain small sacs of venom called nematocysts.
The poisons attack the victim's immune systems.
Scuba divers and swimmers are also susceptible to jellyfish stings, often causing itchiness, red welts or blotches, severe pain, and even death.
This group includes species that are potentially harmful to humans and are distributed throughout the world but mainly in tropical waters.
Jellyfish, Coral, Hydroids, - Sting Symptoms
- Stinging sensation, acute local pain
- Red rash, raised wheals
- Lymph gland pain
- Severe abdominal, muscle and back pain
- Medical shock
- Breathing difficulty, breathing stops
- Unresponsiveness, cardiac arrest (box-type jellyfish)
First Aid Treatment for Stings
(Within the tropics)
- Promptly pour vinegar over the sting area for up to 30 seconds
- If not vinegar is available, pick off any adherent tentacles and wash the wound with sea water (do not use fresh water)
(For all jellyfish stings)
- Check consciousness, airway and breathing and commence CPR if necessary
- Seek urgent medical help if pain is severe or victim has difficulty breathing
- Do not allow rubbing of the sting
- Apply cold packs/wrapped ice for pain relief
- Immersing the sting area in hot water (45 C) may be more effective than cooling for Pacific Blue Bottle stings but do not use for the treatment of box jellyfish stings
- Pick off any adherent tentacles and wash hands afterwards
- Wash wound with sea water
Special Considerations for Coral Cuts
Coral cuts can cause serious secondary infections if early wound cleaning is not done. Thoroughly clean the wound using fresh water (not sea water) as soon as possible. Use an antiseptic lotion with a soft brush and remove all foreign material.
If an antibiotic is not available, apply a local antibiotic powder or ointment, or provide iodine paint or skin cleanser. Follow up medical care is recommended for all coral cuts.
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