When swimming in the beach or in ocean waters, always be aware if the area is known for having episodes of jellyfish infestation. Some people often find jellyfish to be sneaky because one moment people are enjoying a day on the beach, the next they feel a sharp sting and before they know it, they are swimming amidst jellyfish in the water.
Jellyfish Sting Treatment
- When stung by a jellyfish, first aid treatment should be issued immediately.
- Treatment of jellyfish stings has three major goals. These include preventing injury to the rescuers, inactivating the nematocysts, and removing stuck tentacles from the patient.
- Call for medical help immediately.
- While awaiting arrival of the medical team, do necessary basic treatments to help the individual stung by a jellyfish.
Jellyfish Sting First Aid
- In order to prevent injury to rescuers, protective or barrier clothing must be worn. These include wet suits or full body sting proof suits.
- Inactivating the nematocysts helps prevent the further injection of venom into the affected individual. Solutions used to help inactivate nematocysts include 5% acetic acid solution, meat tenderizer, and sodium bicarbonate.
- Lastly, remove the stinging cells by carefully picking off the tentacles left on the patient’s body. While doing this, protective gloves or barrier clothing should be worn.
- Once the tentacles are removed, remove the remaining nematocysts with the use of a safety razor, credit card, or knife edge.
Jellyfish Sting Remedy
- Rinse the area with seawater rather than freshwater.
- It is not recommended to apply ice over the area.
- Applying isopropyl alcohol or vinegar can help deactivate nematocysts.
- Tentacles should be removed with the use of tweezers or protected hands.
- Apply paste of baking soda, shaving cream or mud to the affected side.
- Shave the area with razor or knife.
- Reapply vinegar.
- Immobilize affected area to prevent spread of venom.
- Antihistamines or corticosteroids may be applied to relieve itching.
- Eye stings and mouth stings should be treated separately and accordingly with medical supervision.
- Initiate CPR when necessitated for severe cases.