Sea wasp sting

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Background

  • Chironex fleckeri, commonly known as sea wasp
  • Large form of box jellyfish, found mostly off the coast of northern Australia to the Philippines
  • Extremely deadly, often considered one of the most poisonous jellyfish
  • Identification: Often difficult to distinguish in environment, as animal is transparent. Pale blue bell, often the size of a basketball, with 15 tentacles emerging from lower corners up to 3 meters in length. Has been described as having an eerie similarity to a human skull
  • Tentacles contain millions of stinging cells known as cnidocytes

Clinical Features

  • Sting is extremely painful, described as burning, and can cause death as quickly as 3-5 minutes
  • Most stings are mild and are self-limiting
  • Deaths most commonly occur in children
  • Venom causes cells to become leaky, causing hyperkalemia

Differential Diagnosis

Evaluation

Management

Disposition

See Also

References