You could experience several injuries underwater – they could go from mild to severe, depending on the cause. If you ever encounter any of these marine injuries, treatment/first aid procedures are explained below.
One of the commonest marine injuries is Jellyfish Stings. It could range from benign to malignant depending on the severity of the sting. Ideally, there are different species of jellyfish, which could be a factor that determines the degree of pain. Other factors include affected body area and diver’s body physiology.
Generally, kids and older adults are likely to experience the pain more because of their body physiology. Some of these people may already have allergies, and the sting could trigger them, causing more pain. Young adults may experience a level of pain but not as compared to the former. Breathing difficulty is one of the many symptoms.
However, the first step to treat Jellyfish Stings before the arrival of a medical personnel is to avoid rubbing the area or applying pressure. This action could result in unfired stinging cells, also called Nematocysts, which trigger the release of poison into the body system. If you can avoid rubbing the affected area, irrigate with household vinegar to alleviate the pain and make tentacles visible.
With the help of tweezers and gloves, slowly remove the tentacles and rinse the body area with salt water to remove nematocysts. Never try to use urine or freshwater because it could trigger these stinging cells. Lastly, apply heat to the stung area and wait for medical help.
Fire Coral Stings
Another common injury inflicted to divers in a marine environment is Fire Coral Stings. It is a sting from an anemone-like organism that could also go from mild to severe. The severity depends on the species and the individual.
If it inflicts a sting on someone who already has an allergy, there is no doubt that the person will experience a great level of discomfort. The only thing about this sting is that the symptoms take about 30 minutes before they become visible. One of the symptoms is a burning sensation in the affected area. Before the arrival of medical help, a painkiller or an anesthetic cream can treat the pain.
One of the dangerous marine injuries that divers shouldn’t ever experience is Coral Abrasions. It takes much time to heal, leaving it vulnerable to further infection. Coral-structured organisms often cause it.
If you ever experience Coral Abrasions or Cuts, the first thing you should do is stop the bleeding in the affected area. You can do this by applying pressure to the wound. Once the bleeding subsides, you should use fresh water to rinse the area to remove all fragments of the coral organism.
Once these fragments are out, get a hydrogen peroxide or antibacterial soap and mix with water. The solution should then be used to wash the wound. Finally, apply an antibiotic cream, if any, and dress the wound until you get professional medical help.
Lionfish, Scorpionfish, and Stonefish Envenomation
There are different species of fish; the dangerous ones are the Lionfish, Scorpionfish, and Stonefish. These three fish share a common feature – venomous spines, which can inflict injuries on a diver. If these spines penetrate a diver’s skin, it could get serious.
Therefore, before getting professional medical attention after envenomation of these three fish, a little first aid can be done.
First, remove the diver from the water and use tweezers to remove all visible spines from the skin. After complete removal of every visible spine, immerse the wound in tolerable hot water for 30 to 90 minutes. Following this soaking, medical personnel can take it up from there.
Another injury similar to the Scorpionfish, Lionfish, and Stonefish envenomation is caused by Sea Urchins. Due to the fragility of Sea Urchins, it may be a bit difficult to administer first aid. However, if you go ahead with it, ensure that they do not break on removal from the skin.
This injury requires urgent medical attention because failure to treat the wound immediately could result in loss of joint function. Ultimately, this injury could cause nerve damage.
Large Animal Bites
In a marine environment, anything could go wrong. One severe injury that could be encountered is animal bites. The severity, however, is dependent on the animal’s size and the victim’s physiology.
If a large animal bites ever happen, what you need is urgent medical attention. However, before arrival, it is important that the victim is taken out of the water and administered first aid. Applying direct pressure on the wound to stop bleeding is the first of many things to do. Following is the application of bandages to further apply pressure.
As soon as the blood flow reduces, the said victim should already be in the medical team’s care.
Marine Injuries, no matter how you treat to avoid them, are inevitable. The only thing you could hope for is never to encounter the severe ones and be able to administer treatment right away. With that being said, going scuba diving with your first aid kit will be useful in unimaginable ways.