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Jellyfish advice offered after Fraser Island sting

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Photo: RACQ LifeFlight Rescue

 

Doctor Allan MacKillop has shared a number of tips for what swimmers should do, if stung by marine animals in coastal waters. 

His advice prompted by a job on Thursday, in which the Bundaberg-based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter airlifted a man to Hospital after being stung by a jellyfish. 

The man in his 20s was swimming in waters off Fraser Island and was transported to Hervey Bay for treatment. 

It's unknown what marine species he was stung by.

Dr Allan MacKillop said there are simple treatments beach-goers can immediately apply to stings. 

"A patient stung by an Irukandji jellyfish, should be removed from the water, have the area washed down and any tentacles removed with salt water," he said. 

"Then liberally apply vinegar and place cold packs over the site.

"The patient may well require hospitalisation, so emergency services should be contacted as soon as possible." 

Dr MacKillop said stings in South East Queensland are more likely to be from blue bottles. 

"The treatment for a blue bottle sting is to remove the patient from the water, wash the sting, remove any tentacles with salt water and then apply hot water, as warm as can be safely tolerated without scalding the skin," he said.

"Warm packs can then be applied over the skin. Sometimes some oral pain relief may be required, but in general, a hospitalisation is not required."