If an individual was accidentally stung by a stingray, he/she is likely to experience a very painful reaction. Remember that there is limited information regarding the toxin from a stingray sting, only that it is protein-based and can be dangerous.
This is why it is vital to be prepared on what to do in case an individual sustained a stingray sting. Even though cases of stingray stings are uncommon, it is best that you are prepared.
What are the symptoms of stingray stings?
- Intense pain that can last up to two days
- Swelling around the sting site
- Bluish or redness around the wound
- Muscle weakness or cramping
- Irregular pulse
The individual should be given immediate care in order to prevent these symptoms from worsening.
How to treat a stingray sting
Once an individual is suspected with a stingray sting, there are measures that you have to bear in mind.
- Always stay safe and do not panic. Remember that stingrays will deliver a sting as a way to scare us. In most cases, the sting is usually painful. The individual should move back to the safety of the shore by shuffling his/her feet to avoid being stung again.
- Call for emergency assistance as soon as possible. The individual with a stingray sting requires medical care. The stingray stings can cause intense pain and the individual will require medication to manage the pain. Before caring for the sting, always observe the universal safety measures and use proper gear or equipment if available.
- If bleeding is present, you have to control it using the basic steps such as applying direct pressure while awaiting the arrival of the emergency team.
- Clean the wound using fresh water and soap.
- If possible, removal all small parts or barbs of the stinger using pliers or tweezers. Only remove the stingers if the emergency team will be delayed. Take note that a long stinger can be considered as an impaled object. If there are stingers in the abdomen or chest, do not attempt to remove them. The removal of the stingers can lead to severe bleeding, thus it is vital to control the bleeding from any tissue damage.
If the emergency team will be delayed, some of the toxin can be neutralized by soaking the clean wound in fresh, warm water or applying towels soaked in warm water on the wound. Just be careful not to use water that is too hot since it might scald the individual.
Considerations to bear in mind
Stingrays spread out all over beaches every year but cases of stingray stings are uncommon. The usual method is to shuffle the feet to let the stingrays know that you are coming. On the other hand, you are more likely to stub your toe on a rock than stepping on a stingray.