Sea anemones

Background [1]

  • Located worldwide in deep and coastal waters
  • A type of Nematocyst
  • Often attached to coral or rock
  • Appearance consists of a single polyp with a cylindrical body
  • Their mouths are surrounded by cnidocyte-containing tentacles
    • Cnidocytes are cells containing one giant secretory organelle called a cnidocyst that can deliver a sting to other organisms

Mechanism [2]

  • Anemone venom contains multiple enzymes including:
    • Cytolytic/hemolytic toxins
    • Neurotoxins
    • Cardiotoxins
    • Protease inhibitors

Clinical Features [3]

  • Erythema
  • Pruritis
  • Blisters
  • Skin changes can become permanent in the form of hyper/hypopigmentation and keloid formation
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Myalgias
  • Syncope

Differential Diagnosis

Marine toxins, envenomations, and bites

Management [4]

  • Pain is managed with vinegar
  • Supportive care

Disposition

  • If the patient is hemodynamically stable and pain controlled, patient can 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.
  • 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.