Dealing with a stingray sting

A stingray sting usually occurs by accident if an individual accidentally steps on the creature on shallow, sandy regions in the beach.

It is important to note that stingrays do not actually attack. An injury is typically a defensive action if disturbed. If an individual accidentally steps on one, its venomous stinger near the base of the tail lashes out and cause a puncture or laceration.

What are the indications?

A stingray sting can damage the tendons or muscles in addition to the cut or puncture. In some cases, part of the sheath and spine might be left within the wound. The venom is comprised of various substances that can lead to the breakdown and death of the tissues as well as trigger intense pain.

Other symptoms that might arise include the following:

  • Swelling in the site of the stingray sting

    stingray sting
    Control the bleeding by applying direct pressure using a clean towel or cloth.
  • Immediate and severe pain that radiates up the limb and lasts for up to 48 hours
  • Bleeding
  • Sweating
  • Changes in the color of the site of injury from dusky blue to red
  • Low blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Fainting, weakness or dizziness
  • Increased salivation
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Seizures
  • Heart rhythm irregularities
  • Muscle pain and cramping
  • Paralysis

Death can occur in some cases if the heart or abdomen has been punctured or from significant loss of blood.

Home remedies for a stingray sting

A stingray sting can be treated at home, but medical assessment is still required.

  • The individual should lie down.
  • If vomiting, position him/her on the side to prevent inhaling the vomit.
  • Control the bleeding by applying direct pressure using a clean towel or cloth.
  • You can try to remove the stinger using tweezers to lessen the exposure to the toxin if it will not cause further injury.
  • If there is pain or discomfort, the stingray sting must be treated as a puncture wound or laceration by cleansing and disinfecting the site with water and soap.

If there is pain and bleeding along with symptoms such as sweating or feeling faint, call for emergency assistance or bring the individual to the nearest healthcare facility.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on a stingray sting is for learning purposes only. Learn to properly manage this injury by taking a standard first aid course with Red Deer First Aid.

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