Viewer Comments: Dive Medicine: Sea Urchin Puncture Wound - Experience

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Dive Medicine: Sea Urchin Puncture Wound - Experience

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Comment from: Carter, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 06

I was snorkeling in Thailand when I stepped on a sea urchin. The guide had a 3" corroded snap shackle which he used to fairly forcefully tap on the area (4 spines). He alternated this with soaking the site in vinegar for about 15 min. The dark black spots faded over the next few hours, after which I have been able to walk. I gave him a generous amount of the folding stuff for saving my vacation!

Comment from: Rmcw, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 18

I was accidentally carried by a wave over coral reef in the Northwestern part of Puerto Rico. Along with several serious scrapes and bruises, I walked out with about 40 sea urchin spines embedded deeply in both feet. We used vinegar and a hot salt water soak, but were unsuccessful in removing the spines because they were too deep under the skin. After dealing with the pain for two days, I went to the emergency room. Most of the spines were surgically removed using a local anesthetic. I was placed on an I.V. and prescribed a heavy dose of antibiotics and pain medication. A week later I returned home and had a second surgery. I was put under and another 16 very deeply embedded spines were removed. It's been two weeks and I am still getting headaches and occasional excessive sweating possibly from the medication. My follow up appt. for the second surgery is tomorrow. What an experience. I hope to never have another encounter with sea urchins.

Comment from: Watersportsnomore, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 29

Yesterday I accidentally stepped on some sea urchins in south Maui. I was near shallow rocks when aggressive waves pushed me towards them while boogie boarding. I got multiple sea urchin puncture wounds on the soles of both feet. Ouch! It was very painful, especially after my adrenalin wore off. I had a hot shower, then tried to remove some of the bigger splinters myself but was unable to. Most were embedded too deep. I had to go to an urgent care clinic, where the doctor removed each one by lancing and digging with sharp forceps. No topical anesthetic, however he did inject local lidocaine on four different spots on the sole of one of my feet to get at the larger and deeper ones. That was even more painful than the original injury! I'm now on oral antibiotics and limping around...

Comment from: Dan, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: September 11

I landed on a sea urchin after jumping off the top of a boat off the coast of Zanzibar. Four spines have punctured my heel.

Comment from: Traveller, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: August 16

I got knocked by a wave into a rock full of sea urchins while fishing and took about 50 spines in the foot and butt. I was able to remove most spines but still have about 5-10 that I haven't gotten out. They're mostly in my butt cheek. They're not infected yet, and I'm hoping they will just dissolve without infection.

Comment from: S urchin, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: June 08

I have just accidentally experienced a very large sea urchin spike.

Comment from: Millicent, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 13

I accidentally stepped on a sea urchin by my both feet on the beach of the coastal town of Mombasa in Kenya, East Africa. The spikes were too painful. I cried for help and was carried to the Red Cross rescue cabin by my sister. I am still undergoing treatment as the spikes are not falling off after keeping my feet in hot water as advised by rescuers and the doctor. I still have a lot of pain and I cannot walk.

Comment from: mike1960, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 17

I got the sting of a sea urchin on west coast of Ireland while diving. The needle from the sea urchin has infected the joint of my middle finger. I am writing this report from the hospital. I have already spent five days in the hospital on double dose of antibiotics to reduce the infection. They tell me that if there is no difference in my finger, I will be going for surgery.

Comment from: Loopssat, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 30

I was severely punctured by the spines of a sea urchin in Cozumel, Margaritaville. About 30 spines entered the sole of my foot while attempting to push myself up the ladder to get back on patio deck. Worse pain I've ever felt. I went into panic mode while my foot was feeling numb. Vinegar was poured on it. It didn't help too much but the suggested remedy was urine. I had to do anything to take this pain away. Don't be scared or freaked out because it made a big difference. I limped all the way back to my cruise ship. In about seven hours I was able to dance again with the help of tequila!

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