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First Aid and Facts About Lionfish Stings for Divers

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lionfish have venomous spines and can injure divers

Lionfish have poisonous spines.

© istockphotocom, Naluphoto
Lionfish, like many vibrantly colorful animals, often use their colors to warn other animals that they are dangerous. When the lionfish splays its fins, a series of venomous, needle-like spines appear. Bumping into one of these fish will cause extreme pain as a powerful neurotoxin is released into the diver's skin. Unless a serious allergic reaction to the toxin occurs, fatalities in humans from lionfish venom are uncommon. However, some of the side effects of a lionfish sting include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fever, and difficulty breathing. Needless to say, a diver should end his dive if stung by a lionfish.
Poisonous aquatic life:
• Fire Coral Identification Guide
• Jellyfish Stings and Treatment
• Sea Urchin Stings

Lionfish First Aid:

In the unlucky event of a lionfish sting, seek medical help. Care will likely include placing the affected area in water 110°-114°F or hotter, which breaks down the venom protein and reduces pain. A doctor will also have to remove any spine fragments left in the skin to prevent infection, and may administer a painkiller to ease the pain. Unfortunately, discomfort may persist for several days.
Read more:
Learn About the Atlantic/Caribbean Lionfish Invasion
• How Divers Can Help With the Lionfish Invasion
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