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Does Peeing on a Jellyfish Sting Help?
Oregon Coast Notes - News

Jellyfish

Jellyfish dazzle families every day at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. They're also found swimming off the Oregon Coast and occasionally wash up on beaches, where it's not safe to get so close.

boxjelly2Do not help them back to sea; they are very unlikely to survive. Do not touch a jellyfish even if you think they are dead. Jellyfish stings come from the long tentacles that trail the bell-shaped jellyfish. These tentacles have a protein-based venom that is active even if the jellyfish is dead.

If you are swimming the ocean or walking in the surf jellyfish can sneak up on you. You are cruising along one minute, and feeling the sting of the jellyfish the next.

Treatment for a jellyfish sting (from KATU Article by Laura Rillos):

  • DO rinse with cool salt water
  • DO NOT use warm water; it will make the sting worse by triggering more stinging cells
  • DO apply vinegar or a paste made with water and baking soda to neutralize the sting
  • DO NOT rub the sting; this also will spread stinging cells
  • DO call 9-1-1 or your doctor if you feel nauseous or dizzy after being stung, or if your pulse does not return to normal or if you have any of the warning signs of an allergic reaction. (See below)

Does peeing on a jellyfish sting help?

Well, yes, it might, some victims have reported pain relief, but urine usually does not have enough acid to neutralize the venom. Jellyfish keepers at the Oregon Coast Aquarium suggest that you find some vinegar or baking soda. If you are on a picnic one jelly keeper suggested using mustard because it has vinegar in it. (excerpt from KATU Article by Laura Rillos)

Pain from jellyfish stings can last anywhere from a few minutes to several days or even weeks. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) can be used for pain. Unfortunately, the only sure-fire treatment is time.

Allergic Reaction

The most dangerous reaction to a jellyfish sting is the possibility of severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.

Watch for:

  • itching
  • hives
  • shortness of breath
  • wheezing
  • tightening of the throat
  • flushed skin
  • weakness
  • dizziness

Anaphylaxis can also cause a drop in blood pressure known as anaphylactic shock.

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