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June 1999 Vol. 14, No. 6   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Jellyfish Sting

Contents of this Issue:
All publicly available

Return to Fiji Aboard the Naia

NASA, Spit, Soap, and Olive Oil

Fiji Insider Travel Tips

Travel Updates

Reader's Travel Tip

New Credit Card Fees

Inflatable Sharks

After Divers Die

Are Rebreathers Safe?

Jellyfish Sting


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from the June, 1999 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

A jelly fish sting isnt fun. Heres the latest on treating them from a paper delivered to the American Academy of Dermatologys 57th Annual Meeting by Mark J. Scharf, M.D., University of Massachusetts Medical School:

Before removing the jellyfishs tentacles, either vinegar, baking soda, or meat tenderizer should be used to disarm the nematocysts (stinging capsules) that inject the poison or the venom. If these are not available, use seawater to rinse off the tentacles. Fresh water, alcohol, ammonia, or bleach should never be applied to a jellyfish sting because these cause the nematocysts to discharge their venom.

After disarming the nematocysts, carefully remove the clinging tentacles of the jellyfish. An ulcerated or open jellyfish wound should be cleaned and an antibiotic ointment applied. Analgesics, ice packs, and topical anesthetics can relieve acute pain. If you experience systemic symptoms or a severe allergic reaction, seek emergency medical care.

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