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How To Deal With Jellyfish Stings

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
How To Deal With Jellyfish Stings

By St John's Medical Director Dr Tony Smith

As people are plunging back into the sea this summer, St John has timely reminder first aid tips if you or someone with you gets jellyfish stings.

Jellyfish stings rarely cause significant harm but they do cause severe pain that may last for an hour or more. Pain is not an indication to go to a doctor, unless it is very severe and persisting for a number of hours.

Flush sting area with water and gently remove the tentacles if still present. Avoid excessive rubbing of the tentacles.

Putting vinegar on the sting won't help, however it is not harmful.

If hot water is available, put the sting area in hot water (as hot as the patient can stand without burning) for 20 minutes. A hot shower is ideal.

If hot water is not available and there is significant pain, apply an ice pack.

Call 111 for an ambulance if the patient shows any of the following: difficulty breathing; or fainting; or red rash all over their body; or swelling of the face or mouth.

St John wishes everyone a safe and happy break over the holidays. For more first aid tips and to enrol in a first aid course go to www.stjohn.org.nz.

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