Stingray Sting and Injury

What treatment should you do after being immediately stung by a sting ray?

If you are someone is comfortable with removing the stingray stinger, make sure to remove it slowly and carefully. Breaking the stinger into the wound will make it more difficult to remove in the future. If you feel uncomfortable with removing the stinger you can seek medical attention for proper removal in a clean environment.

After you get out the water go home and place the area of your body into hot water because the hot temperature helps break down the poison. The ideal temperature is 110-115 degrees F. Reheat the water every 10 minutes and soak for 30-90 minutes or until pain subsides.

What to do with the stingray wound?

If it is just a small puncture wound you can dress it with an antibiotic ointment and bandaid. If you have a long or deep cut we would recommend seeking medical attention to get it sutured. Stingray stings can often cause skin and soft tissue infection and it is recommended to watch the area of the sting for increased redness, swelling, purulent discharge, and darkening of the skin.

Should you seek medical attention?

Depending on your symptoms and the location of the sting we would recommend immediate medical attention. If you have been stung in the abdomen, chest or neck and experience any fainting, irregular heartbeat, muscle paralysis, shortness of breath, fevers, chills, nausea, vomiting. If the puncture wound is very deep or the wound has significantly increased swellling/redness/darkening of the skin around area of the sting we would recommend seeking medical attention.

How are stingray stings treated?

The wound will be inspected to look for any remaining parts of the barb, X-rays are often done to look for any visible fragments and sometimes ultrasound is used. You’ll will be given antibiotics and possible a tetanus shot. Depending on the depth and length of the wound it may requiring suturing. In some cases the patient has to be taken to surgery to remove the barb, remove dead tissue, and repair a severe wound.