A jellyfish is a marine creature that has long tentacles and a transparent body. The tentacles have stinging cells that are capable of causing severe injuries to humans and other animals. After being stung by a jellyfish, a red and irritated skin can develop on the affected area along with blistering, swelling, pain as well as burning and stinging sensation that can be felt on the surrounding skin of the affected area that can last for several days.
- A jellyfish sting can cause cramping of the muscle that can last for several hours until the sting area is properly treated.
- Stomach upset such as nausea and vomiting which can happen with diarrhea.
- Fever and profusely sweating
- The affected person can experience shortness of breath or wheezing and some chest discomfort.
- An abnormal heart beat rate or pulse
- Chest pain
- The affected person experiences unusual weakness, lightheaded or dizziness.
- The individual might collapse, lose consciousness or faint
A severe jellyfish stings can cause temporary paralysis and there is a need to seek medical help immediately.
- Remove the affected person out of the water immediately.
- Remove the stingers and any pieces of jellyfish tentacle found in the skin by rinsing the wound using seawater. Another way is scraping off the stingers using the edge of an ID card or a credit card. Avoid getting the sand into the wound, and avoid rinsing the wound using fresh water or rubbing the area with a towel in order to prevent activation of more stingers.
- Rinse the affected area using vinegar for 30 seconds or dab on a paste by mixing baking soda and seawater since it helps neutralize the stingers.
- If vinegar is not available, the rescuer should pull off the tentacles using their fingers and make sure to wash the hands properly after because the stingers still remain in the fingers if not washed properly.
- Apply compression bandages directly over the affected area if the sting affects more than half of limb which causes impairment on the circulation as well as impairment of breathing and also if it causes impairment of consciousness.
- Take a hot shower that can be tolerated for 20 minutes but not above 113 F or 45 C. The application of an ice pack on the affected area can also help lessen the pain.
- Ice massage can also be helpful with the condition. Simply use a small piece of cloth wrap with a small block of ice inside and rub it over the stung area at least 10-20 minutes until the pain is reduced at the same time wrap the body with blankets in order to keep the body warm.
- Take the prescribed pain medication to lessen pain from a jellyfish sting and apply calamine lotion or even lidocaine in order to help minimize the itchiness and discomfort.