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Toxins 2016, 8(4), 97; doi:10.3390/toxins8040097

Heated Debates: Hot-Water Immersion or Ice Packs as First Aid for Cnidarian Envenomations?

1
Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
2
Békésy Laboratory of Neurobiology, Pacific Biosciences Research Center, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Meg Daly
Received: 2 March 2016 / Revised: 26 March 2016 / Accepted: 29 March 2016 / Published: 1 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Marine and Freshwater Toxins)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [282 KB, uploaded 1 April 2016]

Abstract

Cnidarian envenomations are an important public health problem, responsible for more deaths than shark attacks annually. For this reason, optimization of first-aid care is essential. According to the published literature, cnidarian venoms and toxins are heat labile at temperatures safe for human application, which supports the use of hot-water immersion of the sting area(s). However, ice packs are often recommended and used by emergency personnel. After conducting a systematic review of the evidence for the use of heat or ice in the treatment of cnidarian envenomations, we conclude that the majority of studies to date support the use of hot-water immersion for pain relief and improved health outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: jellyfish; venom; sting; first aid; Cubozoa; Scyphozoa; Hydrozoa; hot-water immersion; ice packs jellyfish; venom; sting; first aid; Cubozoa; Scyphozoa; Hydrozoa; hot-water immersion; ice packs
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Wilcox, C.L.; Yanagihara, A.A. Heated Debates: Hot-Water Immersion or Ice Packs as First Aid for Cnidarian Envenomations? Toxins 2016, 8, 97.

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