sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Marine bites and Stings
Marine bites and Stings

'Tiger have teeth and spines.'    Carl Hyland - copyright    Click Here to view large photo

Everyone still remembers how the famous Crocodile Hunter and television personality, Steve Irwin died because of a stingray barb lodged near his heart.

This time a 10 year old boy managed to escape alive after a long barb impaled the boy in his stomach. This young fellow and his family were fishing in New Zealand when they spied upon a group of fisherman hauling out a stingray from the water. The fishermen wrestled with the stingray and tried to use pliers in removing its barb when suddenly it flew nearly 8 feet towards the young man, hitting him in the stomach.


The boy’s father reacted almost immediately and tried to yank the four inch stingray barb out of his son’s stomach.

It would have been a very bad decision and good thing there was a nurse nearby who yelled not to pull it out. Pulling the barb would have caused air to gush in the stomach and destroy the air pressure of his lungs; furthermore, it’s not advisable to remove any impaled objects without medical intervention as it will increase bleeding. The nurse did however keep the barb from going further into the lad’s body.

Unlike Steve Irwin’s stingray barb, the boy was immediately taken to the hospital, underwent surgery and survived the incident.

Stingrays do not usually use their barbs unless at the last defence of their lives especially against hammerhead sharks, their main predator. The barbs themselves contain a form of weak poison that causes pain and alters the heartbeat of animals and humans. There are very rare fatalities of stingray barbs and usually the victims die because of blood loss and shock.

A stingray barb similar to this, caused the death of Steve Irwin. -  Carl Hyland - copyright  
Like most marine creatures, stingrays, venomous fish such as bullrout, Scorpionfish and Guernard, all inject venom with barbs. Here we are talking about venomous fish, not poisonous and we shall leave that to another time. Included in the venom injecting category we could include jellyfish and other stinging marine creatures.

Firstly, I am well qualified to speak on this subject as I was a senior training Officer for a number of years with the District Ambulance Service then the Northern Senior Officer including O.H &S with an ambulance training organisation. I have trained hundreds, if not thousands of people in first aid and in particular Marine Bites and stings.

I have also had the pleasure of working closely with and liaising with the late Dr Straun K . Sutherland, who was the mastermind behind anti venom and the head of the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories.

The delicious guernard perch but also extremely painful -  Carl Hyland - copyright   Click Here to view large photo

Let’s keep it basic, If I were to have in my first aid kit any items for the treatment of marine bites and stings, they would be bandage’s for pressure immobilisation, vinegar, stingose, and where possible, hot water.
Most marine stings involve an open wound and your first course of treatment is to calm the individual down.

If they are unconscious, manage the airway, breathing and circulation. Do not get stung or envenomated yourself.

Remove any stings spines, except where the spines have penetrated a body cavity. The person is usually in a lot of pain. Most venom associated with fish stings and this includes flathead, guernard, scorpion fish, and stonefish are protein based and they can cause immense pain, sometimes to the point where the victim becomes senseless or irrational. The quickest method for dealing with a sting is to flush the area with warm to hot water. Do not use boiling water. This gives immediate pain relief. If the pain continues, seek urgent medical aid.

Some say that rubbing slime off the belly of flathead will alleviate the stinging sensation, but this has yet to be proven.

Fair dinkum, the hot water works. I had an incident with my wife in our boat recently where she accidently got nailed by the main spike off a gurnard. Immediately, she went into shock, her hand swelled up and she was incoherent. Not having any hot water with me, it was a mercy dash (some 2-3km’s) back to the home base, where her hand was placed under the hot water tap. Relief was immediate, so much so, that we went back fishing (with a hot water thermos this time).

Some fish, such as elephant fish have large dorsal spikes and also gill spikes which can have exactly the same effect, injecting venom and sometimes breaking off in the skin. The treatments are the same, hot water and if in doubt, seek medical attention. Any penetrating wound should be seen by a doctor as sepsis can set in and a tetanus shot may also be required.

Below is an excerpt from a newspaper clipping……Elephant fish punctures chest of boy, 10

RACHEL YOUNG Last updated 13:27 13/04/2012

A young Canterbury boy was injured after a thrashing elephant fish punctured his chest.

A Westpac rescue helicopter paramedic said the 10-year-old boy was yesterday fishing with his dad at Amberley Beach, north of Christchurch, when they caught an 'unusually large' elephant fish.

When the boy picked it up, the fish thrashed and its 7-centimetre-long spike punctured the boy's lower chest.

His dad drove him to Amberley Medical Centre, but because of the risk of infection and internal damage he was flown by helicopter to Christchurch Hospital about 6.30pm.

'For puncture wounds you can look OK, but inside can be damaged.'

The paramedic, who himself had been injured by an elephant fish, said it would have been 'bloody painful'.

The boy, from Greenpark, was treated and discharged last night.


Elephant fish and note the huge dorsal spike. -  Carl Hyland - copyright  

For jellyfish stings, the recommended treatment now is to wash the affected stung part with warm water and seek medical attention. The vinegar method is not now recommended as it can cause more stinging cells to fire, making the area of the stings worse. Personally, I have used the vinegar on a few children and it is fantastic, so I’ll leave it up to you as to what you may choose to do. Further information on marine bites and stings is available from your local poisons information centre, usually located at your states major hospital.

So there’s the basics, in future writings I shall touch more on the treatments of other biting and stinging fish, so we all can be up to date, when on or near the water.

Take care.


by Carl Hyland

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=96671

11:57 PM Sun 29 Apr 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World

































America's Cup: Challenger calls Competitor Meeting ahead of deadline *Feature by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,


































ABYC Fourth of July Regatta - Snipes join the action
Volvo Cork Week - Three bullets for ballistic catapult
Nacra 17 Europeans - Besson and Riou lead the overall standings
Formula 16 World Championship - Aussies claim title in Newport
Vestas Sailrocket 3 - The journey beckons
Clipper Round the World - London to provide emotional heroes welcome
ISAF Youth Worlds - Italians to lead RS:X fleet in Tavira
Vestas Sailrocket 3 - Over the Horizon
Foiling Week - Italian Moth Championship - Final results
NYYC Race Week - Yachting history on display
Rescued sailors reach shore after dramatic ocean rescue
Half Ton Classics Cup: Swuzzlebubble out front on Day 1 + Video
New York Yacht Club Race Week - Yachting history on display
Volvo Cork Week - Thrilling conditions welcome international fleet
Nacra 17 Europeans: Success for Italy's Bissaro and Sicouri
America's Cup: 2017 venue short-list reduced to two Cities
Formula Windsurfing Youth and Master Worlds overall
49er and 49erFX Europeans: Pitfalls aplenty on day 1 + Video
ISAF Youth Worlds - Laser Radial sailors look to join list of legends
Coville soon to chase solo circumnavigation record in giant trimaran
Fierce competition at the Meanline Fins Slalom Challenge   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel opt for experienced winner   
Bakewell-White supermaxi designed to take Transpac's Barn Door Trophy *Feature   
Crew rescued by navy patrol from J/111 racer after Mayday in storm   
Team Alvimedica practice in Newport, RI - Photos   
18 foot skiff European Championship (Open Europeans) - Final results   
Nacra 17 European Championships - No action on day 1   
ISAF Youth Worlds - 29er and SL16 sailors prepare for battle + Video   
Volvo Ocean Race: Eight new crew members named by teams   
Volvo Ocean Race: New additions to Spanish team announced   
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Phuket Island is ready to host   
PWA Awaza World Cup - Cyril Moussilmani and Delphine Cousin on top   
Foiling Week - Moth Class Italian Open Championship Day 2   
America's Cup: Luna Rossa foiling in AC45s at their Italian base   
Star World Championship - Germans claim dramatic win in Malcesine   
PWA Awaza World Cup - Down to the wire in Turkmenistan   
Route Halifax Saint-Pierre - Off to France!   
Nacra 17 Europeans - La Grande Motte back in Olympic classes arena   
Stena Match Cup Sweden - Hansen hat trick in Marstrand + Video   
Route Halifax Saint-Pierre Race keeps an eye on Arthur   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT