Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Scorpionfish, Lionfish, and Stonefish Poisoning Treatment
Remove the exposed person from the water to prevent drowning.
Immerse the wound for 30 to 90 minutes in water as hot as the poisoned person can tolerate (up to 140 F
or 60 C) because the poisons are heat-sensitive. Repeat as necessary to control pain.
Local or regional anesthetics (blocks) may be useful in some patients for pain control
Use tweezers to remove any spines in the wound using caution to not squeeze venom glands that may have broken off in the wound with the spine. It is rare for a spine to break off in the wound. Use caution, wear gloves to avoid self-inoculation during spine removal.
Scrub the wound with soap and water. Then flush the affected area with fresh water.
There is antivenom available for stonefish envenomations.
Do not apply tape to close the wound as this may increase the risk of infection.
Patients may need a
tetanus booster; this is usually recommended for all patients with this type of poisoning.