This drives their spine into the unwanted intruder. Expect the area to swell. At the end of the tail are one or more barbed spines covered by a sheath. If you’ve had the wound for a while but are slow to recover, you experience redness or additional swelling at the site, or the site begins to ooze pus, get treatment right away. Pay close attention to how you feel in the sting’s aftermath. The size of the spine depends on the size and type of the stingray. If important structures, such as nerves, tendons, or arteries, are damaged, then a surgeon (such as a hand specialist) needs to be consulted to assist in the management of the wound. [citation needed] Stingray wounds have also been found to bleed for a long amount of time after the initial puncture. In 1608, Captain John Smith, the explorer who founded the Jamestown settlement, was injured by a stingray in the Chesapeake Bay. You may attempt to remove the stinger with tweezers to decrease toxin exposure if doing so will not cause further injury. The doctor needs to consider the specific types of marine organisms that caused the injury when choosing the antibiotics used to treat this wound. Keep any follow-up appointments that have been scheduled. What Is the Outlook for Stingray Injuries? If you belong to Divers Alert Network (DAN), call their emergency number to obtain medical evacuation assistance and arrange for referral to a medical care facility. David DuBois, MD, MS, FAAEM, FACEP, Medical Editor: Location of the sting, amount of venom in the tissue, extent of tissue damage, and promptness of treatment will affect healing time. When threatened, their primary reaction is to swim away. This is normally ineffective against sharks Learn effective ways to relieve stress and anxiety with these 16 simple tips. Stingrays will usually only sting when disturbed or stepped on by unaware swimmers. The undersides of the spines contain two longitudinal grooves which run along the length of the spine and enclose venom-secreting cells. What Are the Exams and Tests for Stingray Injuries? Death, though rare, has been reported from a puncture of the heart or abdomen and from loss of blood. A fisherman, for example, can be injured removing a stingray from a net or fishing line. If there is pain, bleeding, or more than a minor wound, and symptoms such as faintness or sweating (which indicate that venom has been absorbed into the body), arrange for transportation to a medical facility. Part of the sheath and spine can be left in the wound. [3], Pain may be treated with local anesthetic in and around the wound, a regional nerve blockade, or parenteral opiates such as intramuscular pethidine. You might receive an antibiotic via prescription or IV, as well as stitches if the wound is large or deep. Seek medical care if generalized symptoms, such as faintness or. Otherwise, remain in the ocean and pull the barb out if you can. More than 30 percent had lead concentrations greater than 2 parts per…. Certain rays, such as skates and manta rays, do not have a stinger at the base of their tails and are harmless. [citation needed], CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, "Toxic fish spine injury: Lessons from 11 years experience", "Stingray Injury to the Webspace of the Foot | Orthopedics", "Two Cases of Fatal Necrotizing Fasciitis Caused by,, "Discovery Channel Mourns the Death of Steve Irwin", "The Evaluation, Management, and Prevention of Stingray Injuries in Travelers", "Is hot water immersion an effective treatment for marine envenomation? The most common sites of human envenomation are the legs and feet, which makes sense because the most common reason for envenomation is a swimmer unintentionally stepping on a stingray. Breathing difficulty ; EARS, NOSE AND THROAT. Spine and sheath fragments are visible on an X-ray. Hot water kills stingray venom and may relieve the pain associated with the sting. They will need to remove any debris left in the wound from the spines or the sheath. Below are symptoms of a stingray sting in different parts of the body. Stingray injury wounds usually require recleaning on a daily basis with soap and water and then application of an antibiotic ointment and dressing. Common reported symptoms can include diaphoresis, nausea, cardiac arrhythmias,tremors, skin rash, headache,delirium, fever, hypertension, syncope, anxiety and a host of other common allergic reactions. [14], Antibiotics may be administered to prevent infection if there is a delay in treatment, if the wound is deep, or if there is a large amount of foreign material in the wound. You may also receive a tetanus booster. If blood pressure is low, fluids are given through an IV. Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD, Medical Editor: The doctor treats the pain and takes care of the wound. The stinger, or spine near the base of the tail, is hard and sharp with backward pointing barbs (retroserrations) that can cause a jagged cut. If you have redness, swelling, infection, or delayed healing, seek medical attention. When stepped upon or harassed, they swing or arch their tail in the direction of the intruder as a defensive maneuver to protect themselves. But if that doesn’t work, here are six other hacks to try. Vinegar and papain are ineffective. See Additional Information. The person feels immediate, sharp, excruciating pain that peaks in 1-2 hours. The sting is used for self-defense. Your DAN membership card has details. Once it’s been threatened, a stingray will whip its tail in defense — which can reach up and over its head — leaving a laceration or puncture wound in your skin. It’s possible to have a life-threatening allergic reaction to stingray venom, which requires emergency medical care. Vital signs: Treatment for abnormal vital signs is the first step. Numbing medications injected into the injured area help to relieve the pain and allow the doctor to explore the wound to look for injuries to structures below without causing further pain. What Are the Home Remedies for a Stingray Injury? Rays found in home aquariums can cause injuries. If you have a puncture wound and aren’t up to date on your tetanus booster, it’s time to get it renewed. [11], Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, extreme pain at the wound, muscle cramps, and a laceration at the puncture site. A bad sunburn can be painful. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. Sometimes, hospitalization is required if the person is very ill. Typical steps in diagnosing the extent of the stingray injury are as follows: Care of the injured person begins at the scene and is first directed at safe rescue and removal of the victim from the water. Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM, Medical Editor: Another option is to throw shells or small rocks into the water ahead of you as you wade. Immediate and severe pain radiating up the limb and lasting up to 48 hours, Color change in the area of injury—first dusky blue, then red. In some cases, you might require surgery after a stingray sting to remove dead tissue or to repair a severe wound. Some rays in marine parks are friendly because they have become used to humans, and you can touch them. The site may be infected, and your doctor may prescribe antibiotics (oral or intravenous) to treat it. What Is the Follow-up for Stingray Injury? A fisherman, for example, can be injured removing a stingray from a net or fishing line. Most of the time, you can avoid being stung by a stingray. Vasodentin is an incredibly strong cartilaginous material which can easily cut through flesh. Most are saltwater creatures, but a few live in fresh water. Additional medications may be needed to maintain a proper blood pressure. Stingrays are aquatic, cartilaginous vertebrates who are members of the shark family. Stingrays do not actually attack. [13], The barb is covered with rows of flat spines, composed of vasodentin. [5] This would not be fatal to the stingray as it will be regrown at a rate of about 1.25 to 2 centimetres (0.49 to 0.79 in) per month (though with significant variations depending on the size of the stingray and the exact species). If you notice a pungent smell after mixing household cleaners, you should immediately leave the area and try to breathe in fresh air. Most stingray injuries typically occur when a person accidentally steps on a ray as it lies on the shallow, sandy bottom of a beach area. If in a remote area, treat the pain by immersing the injured area in water as hot (but not burning) as the person is able to tolerate (113°F or 45°C) for 30-90 minutes. The spine lies in a groove along the tail. It can be difficult to remove from a wound because of the back-facing barbs.