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Outdoor Emergencies – First Aid For Jellyfish Stings

September 14th, 2014 | Posted by Aris Eff in Poisons

Jellyfish underwater can be dangerous, especially when they group up together and start sneaking onto their victims. Although not all jellyfish species are dangerous, it is a common problem for divers and swimmers wading in salt waters. Jellyfish stings are not always life-threatening, but their tentacles can release thousands of venomous, minute barbs that cause a painful and reddish rash to the victims. There are even cases where the jellyfish sting cause illness and severe allergic reaction throughout the body.

Important Things To Do Immediately

  • Get Out Of The Water As Soon As Possible – There is always the likelihood that you will get stung again. Take note that jellyfish always swim in groups, so it is advisable to stay out of the water right away prior to treatment.
  • Call Emergency Assistance If Necessary – Jellyfish stings can be treated if the victim or someone with the victim has enough knowledge about treatment techniques. However, there are instances when professional medical help should be rendered to the victim. Call an ambulance if:
  1. The sting has covered half of or the entire arms, legs, torso, stomach, genitals or face.
  2. The sting has caused allergic reaction to the victim, such as nausea and vomiting, palpitations, dizziness, confusion, lightheadedness and shortness of breathing.
  • Neutralize The Pain and Stinging – The way to stop the stinging sensation is to wash the affected area with saltwater or seawater. In contrast, tap water or fresh water can just worsen the condition by reactivating the stinging cells.
  • Remove The Tentacles After Washing – Recommendations from the Red Cross state that washing with vinegar and soaking the affected area with hot water for a couple of seconds could lessen the pain before removal of the sting. Tip: The warmest temperature is the actual temperature that can be tolerated by the victim, so let the victim test the water first to avoid scalds. Do not attempt to remove the tentacles with bare hands. Always use protective measures when doing this so that the sting will not likely affect other parts of your body, especially your hands.
  • Treatments For Less Severe Cases – For stings that are less painful, you can treat it with ice pack application as well as with OTC pain relievers. If necessary, you can also treat it with antibiotics.
  • Antihistamines Can Also Help – If the sting causes itchiness and reddish spots, you can help relieve it with topical antihistamines along with ice packs, and pain relievers.

Knowing some important basic first aid skills can help you during accidental outdoor emergencies. Learn more about first aid tips from http://standardfirstaidcourses.ca/

 

Related Video On Jellyfish Stings:

Sources:

“How To Treat Jellyfish Stings.” WikiHow. Retrieved online on September 9, 2014 from http://www.wikihow.com/Treat-Jellyfish-Stings

“Jellyfish Stings.” Mayo Clinic. Retrieved online on September 9, 2014 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/jellyfish-stings/basics/treatment/con-20034045

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