Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Stingray Stings Overview

What are stingray stings?
A person with a stingray sting has been injured by the spine, or barb, that is located on the tail of a stingray. The barb may cause a laceration or a puncture wound. Sometimes, the resulting wound may contain venom from the barb, or it may contain part of the barb. Most stingray stings occur as a defensive mechanism after a person steps on the animal. Injuries tend to be located on the feet and legs.

What are the symptoms of stingray stings?
Common symptoms of a stingray sting include a puncture wound or laceration. A barb may be stuck in the wound, and the skin may be red, swollen, bruised, or tender around the wound. Additional symptoms caused by the venom from a stingray sting include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fainting, muscle cramps, nausea, excessive sweating, or vomiting.

How does the doctor treat stingray stings?
Treatment for a stingray sting may include wound care, antibiotics, tetanus vaccination, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Surgery may be required to repair a wound or remove a barb from the wound.

Continue to Stingray Stings Incidence

Last Updated: May 22, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Stingray Stings References
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  5. Nomura JT, Sato RL, Ahern RM, Snow JL, Kuwaye TT, Yamamoto LG. A randomized paired comparison trial of cutaneous treatments for acute jellyfish (Carybdea alata) stings. Am J Emerg Med. 2002 Nov;20(7):624-6. [12442242]
  6. Reed KC, Crowell MC, Castro MD, Sloan ML. Skin and soft-tissue infections after injury in the ocean: culture methods and antibiotic therapy for marine bacteria. Mil Med. 1999 Mar;164(3):198-201. [10091493]
  7. Rocca AF, Moran EA, Lippert FG 3rd. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment of soft tissue necrosis resulting from a stingray puncture. Foot Ankle Int. 2001 Apr;22(4):318-23. [11354445]
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