23 August 2002
The Australian Resuscitation Council has issued updated advice on first aid for jellyfish stings, removing reference to the use of pressure immobilisation bandages.
The advice followed laboratory evidence that the use of bandages may increase the amount of venom injected into tissue, council chairman Associate Professor Ian Jacobs said.
'The first aid should be basic life support, vinegar if it's available, and getting to hospital rapidly,' Professor Jacobs said.
After consulting with leading toxinologists and toxicologists, the Council believes bandages should not be applied if they delay or interfere with key treatment principles (see box).
The bandages should certainly never be applied unless vinegar has been applied first, because vinegar inactivates the nematocysts that deliver the venom.
The role of the bandages in treating jellyfish stings remained unknown and the council would not promote their use until more information became available, Professor Jacobs said.
There was, however, no clinical evidence that the bandages had caused harm, he said.
|New advice for treatment of severe jellyfish stings|
|Source: Australian Resuscitation Council|
Last Reviewed: 20 August 2002