First aid for bites and stings: Stonefish and other stinging fish

by | First Aid and Self-Care

stone fish

Stonefish and other stinging fish

There are some fish, such as Stonefish and Bullrout, that can sting when accidentally trodden on, swum over or handled.

First aid consists of the following.

  • Call an ambulance.
  • Immerse the affected area in hot water to relieve pain. (Try putting an unaffected part of your body in the hot water first to make sure you are not burning yourself.)
  • DO NOT apply a pressure immobilisation bandage.
  • Leave any barbs or spines in place and place padding around them. They may be plugging a wound and preventing blood loss.
  • If the person is unresponsive and not breathing properly, start CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

You may need hospital treatment for the relief of pain and/or to be given stonefish anti-venom.

Signs and symptoms of stonefish and other fish stings

Fish stings are usually extremely painful, which can lead to irrational behaviour. The sting wound may be bleeding, bruised or swollen.