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Stingray Injury (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

Because stingray injuries usually hurt so much, medical attention is definitely needed. Pain management, wound care, a tetanus vaccine update, and antibiotics are the most likely treatments.

  • Seek medical care if generalized symptoms, such as faintness or sweating, are felt. These symptoms indicate that venom has been absorbed.
  • If the injury does not hurt, but you need a tetanus booster, then medical attention should be sought.
  • If you have redness, swelling, infection, or delayed healing, seek medical attention.

In most cases, a stingray injury should be handled in a hospital's emergency department. If the injured person is in severe distress with pain, bleeding, vomiting, and faintness, then 911 should be called for ambulance transport to a medical facility.

  • Transport by ambulance, if available, is the best choice so treatment can be started en route. If an ambulance is not available, go by car. If a boat ride is needed to shore, call ahead to arrange an ambulance or car for transportation to a medical facility.
  • A tetanus booster is needed if it has been more than 5 years since the last tetanus booster. Tetanus prevention is needed if the person has never had a tetanus vaccination.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/26/2014
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Stingray Envenomation »

Stingrays (ie, elasmobranchs) are bottom-dwelling cartilaginous fish that have a flattened body, one or more stout spines on the tail, gill slits on the lower surface of the head, teeth modified into 2 large crushing plates, and no dorsal fin.

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