Box Jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri, formerly known as the Sea Wasp). This extremely toxic and highly lethal marine creature is fairly widespread in subtropical and tropical parts of Australia. Once a person is bitten, death can be almost instantaneous. Avoid bathing in areas known to be infested. Wearing special whole-body swimming gear may offer protection. Intense pain and shock appear to kill. Current research indicates therapy may be life-sustaining, but it must be given immediately and consists of special measures, such as various kinds of gaseous anaesthetics.
Reassure the patient, then quickly flood the affected area with vinegar. If unavailable, gently pick off the tentacles with tweezers. Do not use fingers. After this, apply cold water (to relieve the pain). Do not rub the area with sand, and try to keep the patient’s hands from the region.
Severe injuries from box jellyfish, even if small and not threatening life, are extremely painful, and may be slow to heal. Many of these should be treated either with antivenom or injections of corticosteroids to minimise the local injury. Because vinegar has been shown to be the most effective substance to inactivate box jellyfish tentacles, it is recommended What to Do in Case of Box
1. Resuscitation if needed.
2. Stay with the victim and call for trained assistance and antivenom.
3. Pour vinegar over stung area.
4. If breathing stops, use resuscitation and external cardiac compression.
5. Do not wash victim, or spread sting by rubbing with hands, wet sand, cloth, seaweed, paper etc.
6. Unless under medical or ambulance supervision, do not move the victim until condition has been satisfactory for 10 minutes.
Stings from other kinds of jellyfish are fairly common. These may cause backache, pain at the site of the sting, nausea, abdominal and chest discomfort.