Bermuda Hospitals Board offers training on jellyfish stings

31 May 2017: A local expert in treating jellyfish stings, and in particular those of the Portuguese-Man-of-War variety, provided training to some first responders this month.

Bermuda Hospitals Board’s (BHB) Dr David Wakely trained more than 20 Marine Police officers and Royal Bermuda Regiment soldiers in the best way to treat burns and stings caused by Portuguese-Man-of-War. A  BHB Emergency Medicine and Hyperbaric and Diving Medicine physician, Dr Wakely sees many cases of jellyfish stings particularly in the spring and summer.

In readiness for the surge in water activities the Bermuda Police Service requested the training to increase the awareness of marine first aid. They invited the members of the Royal  Bermuda Regiment as well as staff from Medical House. The Medical House staff were present to learn what products the Emergency Department recommends victims use to treat their stings.

According to Dr. Wakely most victims do not have to attend the hospital for treatment. Those who know what to do can treat themselves or others who know can help victims. He also advised that hospital treatment should be considered in the case of toddlers, the elderly, those with serious medical conditions, those who have been stung over large areas of their bodies or those who have been stung in sensitive areas like the face, mouth and groin.

 

What to do in the case of a Portuguese Man-of-War sting

Safety first

  • Use gloves
  • Keep bystanders back
  • Identify the main sail / body parts of the animal
  • Look for trailing stinger / tentacles

Remove the tentacles

  • Remove main body of the animal from victim if still attached
  • Wash affected area with seawater, to flush away any tentacles
  • Cover area in shaving foam (stingers are now in the foam)
  • Scrape foam off with blunt spatula

Inactivate the stingers

  • Soak the area in vinegar for 5 – 10 minutes
  • Leave soaking for 5-10 minutes

Treat the pain

  • Hot packs on affected area
  • Consider putting victim in showers and running shower hot as tolerable
  • Keep hot pack / shower on area for 30 minutes

Archives

2017 (33)
2016 (47)
2015 (22)
2014 (45)
2013 (36)
2012 (37)
2011 (43)
2010 (44)
2009 (56)
2008 (31)
2007 (32)
2006 (39)
2005 (27)
2004 (23)

Notes to Editors
The Bermuda Hospitals Board is a quango (quasi autonomous non-governmental organisation) established under the Bermuda Hospitals Board Act, 1970. It has a Bermuda Government-approved Board and a Chief Executive Officer, responsible for King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute. At the heart of both organisations is high-quality care to all patients.

With approximately 1,700 employees, the Bermuda Hospitals Board is Bermuda's second largest employer. King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute are the only healthcare organisations in Bermuda accredited by Accreditation Canada, an independent organisation whose role is to help hospitals examine and improve the quality of care and service they provide to their clients. In addition to providing an extensive list of services for the community, the Bermuda Hospitals Board is part of a referral network that includes some of the world's leading specialist hospitals.

For more information, please visit www.bermudahospitals.bm or contact the Bermuda Hospitals Board Public Relations Department at publicrelations@bhb.bm.