JellyFish Facts

Jellyfish After Sting

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Jellyfish After Sting

Jellyfish have inhabited the oceans for thousands of years and their number seems to be increasing every year. There are now more cases recorded of people encountering jellyfish and getting stung. Many venomous types of jellyfish are found in the waters adjoining popular beaches, and hundreds of swimmers are getting stung, even after taking the basic precautions. Although jellyfish are not aggressive creatures they have an instinctive reaction of wrapping their tentacles and stinging, whatever life form comes in contact with them. As most of them are translucent they are also very difficult to detect in the water.

A jellyfish has numerous stinging cells called nematocysts on their tentacles and these cells contains venom. All jellyfish venom is alkali based, but their toxicity differs in each species. Some can kill within minutes while others can give a variety of symptoms which takes a long time to cure. The immediate first aid for any type of jellyfish sting is to pour vinegar or any other form of acetic acid liberally on the stung part. This neutralises the venom to a certain degree and gives some relief from the intense pain.

The effects of a jellyfish sting will remain from a few hours to a few weeks, depending on the toxicity of Jellyfish venom and the presence of any medical conditions in the patient before being stung. Most jellyfish stings cause different allergic reactions in patients and these have to be treated with antihistamines. Usually when a person is stung by a jellyfish, an antihistamine treatment for about 5 days is prescribed, where the tablets have to be taken twice daily. Benadryl, Allegra or Clarityne are the antihistamines that are usually prescribed.

When the jellyfish sting is highly toxic and the immune response of the person is not so good, he will have to be given oral steroids to bring down the different reactions to the toxin. Sometimes the wound will keep bubbling up, accompanied by terrible itching. In these cases where the wound is open, frequent application of anti-biotic cream is advised. This will prevent the wound from getting infected and developing further complications. Aloe vera gel is also considered highly effective in such cases and it will relieve the burning sensation and itching. Aloe vera will also reduce the welts and rashes that do not seem to go away. Hydrocortisone cream is also recommended for itching and this can be applied repeatedly through out the day, and has to be stopped immediately if there is any infection in the wound.

Jellyfish stings can also cause swellings and the pain may not subside even after a few hours. In such cases pain killers and anti-inflammatory medicine like Ibuprofen is advised. Depending on the severity, the dosage will range from 800 to 1000mg tablets to be taken once in four hours.

When symptoms like nausea and difficulty in breathing do not go away, it is best to get hospitalized as the treatment and progress has to be closely monitored.

Find jellyfish sting protection and relief products on Ebay (best price) or your local diving supply store.

Learn more about the Jellyfish Sting treatment and Jellyfish Sting Safety

Learn more about Jellyfish, different Jellyfish Species, general Jellyfish Information, Jellyfish Pets and Jellyfish Safety

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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