Fire coral

Background [1]

  • Location is worldwide (excluding Hawaii) in reefs & shallow waters.
  • white to yellow-green appearance that are fixed to rocks and coral.
  • They possess tentacles that extend upward & are roughly 2m in length.

Clinical Features[2]

  • Contact with tentacles causes painful, urticarial lesions that may become hemorrhagic and ulcerate.
  • Symptoms can last up to 72 hours with skin hyperpigmentation that can last for several weeks.

Differential Diagnosis

Marine toxins, envenomations, and bites

Management[3]

  • Pain is best managed with vinegar
  • Steroid cream and oral antihistamines can be used for mild urticaria.
  • If severe, oral steroids may be warranted.

Disposition

  • If hemodynamically stable, patient may be discharged home

See Also

  • Hauglid, Christopher, DO, et al. “EMERGEN-SEA MEDICINE: An Overview of Sea Urchins, Coral, Starfish, and More.” ACEP Now, vol. 40, no. 7, 2021, pp. 8–9.
  • Hauglid, Christopher, DO, et al. “EMERGEN-SEA MEDICINE: An Overview of Sea Urchins, Coral, Starfish, and More.” ACEP Now, vol. 40, no. 7, 2021, pp. 8–9.
  • Hauglid, Christopher, DO, et al. “EMERGEN-SEA MEDICINE: An Overview of Sea Urchins, Coral, Starfish, and More.” ACEP Now, vol. 40, no. 7, 2021, pp. 8–9.