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Old 09-10-2015, 11:33   #46
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Re: Woman dies from box jellyfish sting

Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
The ph of MEK...haha, sure, it makes great salad dressing too.
(Kids, don't try this at home.)

For different venoms there are different "best" field treatments. Dive shops are handing out cards from the Divers Alert Network that say to use warm/hot water for lionfish venom, no chemicals at all.

When in doubt, make sure of what the local critters are specifically, and what the published best first aid for them is. And then pack that in the first aid kit. Another good point to vinegar is that so far, no one has insisted on putting a short expiration date on it.(G)
I've been a DAN member for almost 20yrs and they are good about updating their 1rst Aid cards as new info becomes available, so +1 on your advice in checking out local diveshops before going out.

That being said, most people won't got to the trouble to do that and (from my experience) many wont even know what stung them, so the general guidelines of treating stings will either work or not do harm. AFAIK, a vinegar rinse has no negative effects on the various marine envenomations, its really just used to rinse the area without making things worse. Same with heat treatment negative effects, it helps some people with pain relief and for some venoms it will break them down faster... sometimes it has no effect. Just make sure a non-injured person tests the temperature of the heat pack/hot water to prevent burns, since injured people can have skewed temperature sensitivity.

As a bunch of cruisers have mentioned in other threads, I highly recommend becoming a DAN member and getting their insurance. It's very inexpensive, covers a lot of travel issues, but most importantly provides direct phone access to medical professionals that can recommend treatment and assist in medical evacuation if needed.

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Old 09-10-2015, 23:45   #47
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Re: Woman dies from box jellyfish sting

I cant believe we havent something better then vinegar for a sting
Careful there folks, next thing we know some government will be requiring a special Australian Medical Association approved vinegar at twenty times the cost.

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Old 18-10-2015, 12:48   #48
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Re: Woman dies from box jellyfish sting

Box jellies are profuse on a seasonal basis off N. Coast of Australia, and, for being so tiny they are deadly.

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Old 18-10-2015, 14:46   #49

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Re: Woman dies from box jellyfish sting

From WebMD, which is often reliable, the advice is somewhat contradictory and will depend on where you are, temperate or tropical, as well. The big common thread appears to be WATCH FOR ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK and get the victim to a hospital if there's any indication of that starting.

Jellyfish Sting Treatment

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In this article

Call 911 if:

  • The person displays signs of a severe allergic reaction.
  • The sting is from a box jellyfish.
  • The sting covers more than half an arm or leg.

  • The person displays signs of a severe allergic reaction.
  • The sting is from a box jellyfish.
  • The sting covers more than half an arm or leg.

For more information about severe allergic reaction, see Anaphylaxis .

1. Get the Person Out of the Water

2. Stop Stinging

For a jellyfish sting in non-tropical waters:
  • Wash the area with seawater to deactivate stinging cells.
For a sting in tropical waters -- especially from box jellyfish:
  • Rinse immediately with vinegar. Do not use fresh or tap water, which can reactivate stinging cells.
  • Continue until you can get medical help.

3. Decontaminate and Remove Tentacles

For jellyfish stings, the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross have recommended the following:
  • Rinse the area with vinegar for at least 30 seconds. If vinegar is not available, a solution of baking soda can be used. This will deactivate the stinging cells.
  • Next, soak the area in hot water for at least 20 minutes if possible. Cold packs can be used instead if the area can’t be soaked in hot water..
These treatments are based on research done in the Indo-Pacific areas, however, and may not be effective in the oceans of the North Atlantic . In fact, in this area, vinegar may actually make the symptoms worse, depending on the type of jellyfish. Some experts therefore recommend a hot water rinse and lidocaine applied to the area if available. If this is not possible, then removing the stinging cells and rinsing in seawater would also be an option.

4. Treat Discomfort

5. Follow Up

For less severe sting:
  • Use ice packs or over-the-counter pain relievers for welts.
  • Clean open sores 3 times a day and apply antibiotic ointment. Bandage if needed.
For a severe reaction:
  • The person may be hospitalized for several days.
  • Anti-venom will be administered for box jellyfish stings.
WebMD Medical Reference

View Article Sources "

One more vote in favor of the body suit.
Fermie, P. The Illustrated Practical Book of First Aid & Family Health, Lorenz Books, 2005.
Subbarao, I. AMA Handbook of First Aid and Emergency Care, Random House Reference, 2009.
Utox Update, University of Utah College of Pharmacy: "Marine Envenomations."
Jellyfish Stings Information from eMedicineHealth.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on October 25, 2013

2013 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Old 18-10-2015, 15:24   #50
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Re: Woman dies from box jellyfish sting

I once encountered a jellyfish tentacle while swimming without a stinger suit.

The cause was inferred by the doc, based on the stripe, which was consistent with the tentacle contacting my back and getting tangled on my right arm. We carry both vinegar and ammonia in the dinghy. Didn't know a 30 sec. flush is recommended, that's good advice. The welt lasted, sore and itchy for a little over 2 weeks. The doc thought the tentacle must have been detached from its owner for a while before I got it.

The stinger suit I have is lycra, and quite comfortable to wear. It is not the same as swimming nude, which feels lovely, but it will keep your most tender regions protected.

There's lots of things out there that can kill us--terrorists, drive-by shootings, fish, coelenterates, mosquitoes. Too much to worry about, really. Take reasonable precautions and do what you want to do. Living is not risk free, never was.

Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, SE Qld, for a while
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Old 19-10-2015, 21:00   #51
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Re: Woman dies from box jellyfish sting

Originally Posted by julius222 View Post
Hi All

These jelly fish do not sting, as in a sharp point penetrating the skin. Rather the toxin is carried in little sacks attached to the tentacles.

The sacks burst on the skin, the toxin is absorbed and the result is intense pain. Trying to brush off the tenatcles just bursts more sacks, intensifying the pain. To be pedantic, the toxin doesn't kill you. The resulting pain kills you. It is that severe.
Not quite so as far as I was aware. The nematocysts are like a poison sack with a microscopic spring loaded barbed hypodermic needle which penetrates the skin on contact and injects the venom.

I remember talking to some American tourists in Cairns many years ago when the subject of box jellyfish came up.

"We have been told they can be quite painful," they said. "We've been told not to splash around much when in the water and you'll be ok."

"Um, you do know they can be fatal and a number of people have died from stings," say I.

They were shocked and had no idea this was the case. Education for visitors was pretty limited back then. Locals were well aware of them. When I was in Okinawa a few years back, I picked up that there were jellyfish there too and it seems they were a box type. Info was pretty hard to find though so we limited our swimming to ones where we were covered up. It seems that the idea is not to frighten the tourists in case they stay away!

I also recall when the stinger enclosures (nets) were first introduced at the beaches off Cairns, my sister was a casualty RN at the hospital and she said jellyfish sting cases increased significantly. These were not fatal but were it seemed from bits of tentacle breaking off and getting into the net or people hanging off the side of the net.


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