Wilderness: Sea Urchin Puncture Topic Guide
Dive Medicine: Sea Urchin Puncture Wound: Sea urchins are non-aggressive marine animals and have spines and pedicellaria (venomous organs). Symptoms include redness and swelling around the area or fatigue, muscle aches, weakness, shock, or respiratory failure if the puncture wound is deep. Treatment of sea urchin puncture wounds are removal of th spines and pedicellaria. Antibiotics may be necessary if infection occurs.
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Scuba Diving: Starfish (Sea Star) and Crown of Thorns Puncture Wounds Starfish (sea star) and crown of thorns puncture wounds are bottom dwellers, so contact with scuba divers or snorkelers is usually by accident. Symptoms of a starfish or crown of thorns puncture wound include pain, bleeding, and inflammation at the injury site. Severe reactions include nausea, vomiting, weakness, numbness, tingling, joint aches, headaches, cough, and in rare cases paralysis. Treatment methods include cleaning the area, removing any spines if possible, antibiotic cream, and oral antibiotics if infection occurs.
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