c. Puncture by Spines. Punctures may be caused by contact with urchins,
cone shells, stingrays, or spiny fish (catfish, toad, or oyster fish). To treat this type of
wound, it is necessary to inactivate the area with hot water since the foreign material or
poison introduced into the wound is heat-sensitive. If possible, soak the area in quite
hot water for thirty to sixty minutes but be careful not to scald the victim. He will not be
able to judge the temperature of the water since the wound excruciatingly painful. The
possible complications from this type of wound could be allergic reactions, collapse,
infections, tetanus or granuloma formation.
d. Poisonous Bite by Fangs. In case of bites from a sea snake or octopus,
give basic life support. The blue ringed octopus of Australia has inflicted fatal bites, but
this is the only species known to do this. The possible complications from the
poisonous bite are paralysis, myoglobinuria, or respiratory arrest.
e. Poisoning by Injection. If this type of poisoning is suspected, refer to
Halstead's Poisonous and Venomous Marine Animals of the World and contact a poison
control center. The fish involved include the puffer fish, scromboids (tuna species),
ciguatera (large colored fish), and paralytic shellfish. Give basic life support and
prevent self-injury from convulsions. The possible complications from this type of injury
are allergic reactions, asthmatic reactions, paresthesia, numbness, temperature
reversal phenomena, or respiratory arrest and circulatory collapse.
f. Miscellaneous Injuries. Shock and skin rashes are examples of
miscellaneous injuries. The electric fish and marine parasites may cause these types of
injuries. No treatment is required since the injury is usually self-limiting. The most likely
complication is that the shock from an electric fish or electric eel may precipitate a panic