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Injected Toxins

    • Phylum Mollusca, Class Gastropoda, Family Conidae. These cones possess a detachable, dart-like radicular tooth or muscular proboscis. The venom is complex composed of two or more substances, one neuromuscular (causing sustained contractions), the other inhibits nerve excitability.
    • Symptoms: Small puncture wound with localized ischemia (blanching), cyanosis (pale, bluish color), and edema (swelling). Severe pain, numbness, and tingling (paresthesias) of the mouth and lips is noted. Sometimes there is respiratory distress and paralysis.
    • Treatment: Immobilize the limb, apply a pressure dressing, administer CPR if needed. Cleanse the puncture site, give analgesics and give tetanus prevention. Be prepared to support and monitor respiratory function.

                  The fins of the saltwater catfish have a complex toxin made up of a  mix of high molecular weight proteins and low molecular weight compounds. Like many marine toxins, this venom is believed to be denatured at temperatures above 105 F.

                   Besides intense pain that appears to be out of proportion for the physical injury, systemic symptoms can occur but are rare. They include muscle cramps, tremor, fatigue, syncope and even CV collapse. Treatment in the ER consists of immersion of  the body part in hot water at approx. 110 F, debridement (cleansing) of the wound completely and liberal irrigation  with hot water. Tetanus coverage is provided. It's a good idea to treat with antibiotics that cover Vibrio vulnificus, usually a 3rd gen cephalosporin.

                    Severe allergic reactions can occur.  If you are in a boat and cannot get to hot water, a good preparation to use is a paste of baking soda and meat tenderizer. This paste is also said to be effective for jelly fish stings.
Links to Lionfish Injuries

Lionfish Images
Lionfish photo
(great photo)

      • Phylum Chordata, Class Reptilia, Order Squamata. The sea snake is an inquisitive but usually nonaggresive air-breathing snake. The venom is extremely toxic (2-10 times the cobra), and many bites are not envenomated. The venom is heat stable, is a nonenzymatic protein, and blocks acetylcholine.
      • Symptoms: The bite is noted without symptoms as there is an initial latent period varying from 10 minutes to 6-8 hours. . There is the onset of malaise (bad feeling), anxiety and stiffness. Followed by aching and paralysis. Trismus (Jaw paralysis), ptosis (paralysis of eyelids) are common. Ten percent of untreated cases are fatal.
      • Treatment: Immobilize the site of the bite. Hospitalize, obtain the antivenin and give CPR if needed. Try polyvalent land snake antivenom if specific not available. Hemodialysis can be helpful and respiratory support and control are often needed.
    Sea Snake Images
    Banded sea krait

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