What should we do in case of a jellyfish sting

Holidays arrive and many choose to spend them by the sea, but sometimes bathers expose themselves to suffering the painful stings of jellyfish. The sensation is very annoying , itchy and the appearance of redness, swelling , vesicles and pustules. They do not normally involve severity, but in some cases symptoms similar to a severe allergic reaction may appear .

Undoubtedly, children are a risk group , since, in proportion, for them the affected skin surface is greater than in an adult, and they also have thinner skin , so that the poisonous liquid passes through it better . Doctor Eduardo Bermell, from the Pediatric Emergency Service of the Vithas Rey Don Jaime Hospital in Castellón, given the concern that this issue may generate in many parents, points out the correct guidelines to follow in the case of a jellyfish sting.

As Dr. Bermell comments, “the moment a jellyfish stings you, pain and very intense itching appear immediately , so the first thing to do is clean the affected area . The ideal to clean it is the physiological serum . If there is not, salty water may also be an alternative solution »and he points out« some popular myths such as pouring urine, fresh water on the wound or covering it with sand must be debunked as this would only contribute to spreading the toxic inoculated by the jellyfish, and could even aggravate the rash . ”

Once the area is cleaned, to reduce the sting of the sting, cold should be applied to the affected area for approximately 15 minutes. According to Dr. Bermell “ice should not be applied directly to the bite, but covered with a cloth or towel.” On the other hand, “if there is a lifeguard, a health center or a Red Cross post where they can assist you, you must take the child, since the poison can affect them more intensely because their weight is less than that of adults, and at the same time, it is convenient to observe that his respiratory and heart rhythms do not change ».

After these initial guidelines, in general, the post-sting clinic usually subsides in a few hours, “although in the following days you should go to the doctor if distress, agitation, loss of appetite, conjunctivitis and sometimes headache appear,” he stresses. Dr. Bermell.

Extreme cases

Exceptionally, you should go to the emergency room , both with children and adults, when anaphylactic shock occurs, that is, a serious allergic reaction to the venom of the jellyfish, “since the distribution of the venom throughout the body,” says the specialist. “It can lead to a sensation of chest tightness, muscle cramps and even respiratory distress and, more rarely, the symptoms can be more serious, causing an alteration of the central nervous system and convulsing .


Leave a Comment