Stingers Kill


A gang of jellyfish is called a "smack". Placed end to end, the tentacles of a large box jellyfish would stretch 60m. The box jellyfish is the most deadly bastard in the world and is one of the most venomous creatures on earth. It kills twice as many people per year as bastard sharks. Up to 10,000 stings occur each summer in Australia from bluebottles alone. In the Northern Territory, deaths from jellyfish stings have been recorded in every month of the year except June.

How to survive a box jellyfish attack

  • Call an ambulance and seek medical personnel to administer antivenom (purified sheep immunoglobin) as soon as possible.
  • Apply vinegar (never methylated spirits or alcohol) to adhering tentacles and stung area for about 30 seconds. This will prevent the firing of undischarged stinging cells, but will not decrease pain.
  • Carefully remove clinging tentacles with tweezers or fingers.
  • If the victim seems to be having trouble breathing, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and/or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), may be required due to the effect of toxins on the circulatory system.
  • If antivenom is unavailable, compression bandages may be applied above the sting as the victim is transported to the hospital, but there are conflicting reports as to their effectiveness.
  • Ice packs can be used to relive pain.

Source: Ralph, No. 9

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