EM Docs

Marine Animal Bites and Stings

Marine Animal Bites and Stings 768 506 Greg Ellifritz

Adventure travelers often play in the ocean.  Ocean snorkeling, diving, swimming, surfing, and kayaking all expose on to the chance of being bitten or stung by some aquatic critters.

 

Over the years, I’ve experienced many of these envenomations.  Lots of jellyfish stings.  My sea kayaking tour guide got stung by a stingray in Belize.  It laid him up for a couple days.  This can be very serious stuff if you aren’t careful.

 

Even those of you who visit “tame” locations should still be cautious.  Last month I wanted to test my new snorkel mask before taking an ocean excursion.  I waded into the ocean off the beach of our five-star resort in Cancun.  I was in water about three feet deep and dove in.  I was instantly face to face with a pissed off stingray.  I’m amazed I didn’t get stung.

 

This is a compilation of simple first aid tips for handling marine animal bites and stings in the field.

 

Marine Animal Bites and Stings

Wound Cleaning in Austere Environments

Wound Cleaning in Austere Environments 800 450 Greg Ellifritz

Many of you might not have a well equipped medical bag that you carry on your travels.  What if you cut yourself and don’t have accesses to definitive medical care?  What if you don’t have chemical wound disinfectants like alcohol or hydrogen peroxide?

 

The proper cleaning of wounds is of critical importance, especially in austere conditions where there are limited (or non-existent) supplies of chemical disinfectants or antibiotics.  With proper irrigation, chemical disinfectants and antibiotics aren’t likely to be necessary.  It takes about one liter of water under pressure per inch length of wound.   Here are some more tips on how to do it right.

 

Antediluvian Methods? An Evidence-Based Approach to Wound Irrigation

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You may also fine the information below valuable.

 

Wound Cleaning is One of the Most Important Skills to Know

 

This article is guide for cleaning and dressing wounds in the field.  When you don’t have the luxury of a hospital nearby, preventing infection is extremely important.