Envenomation by Scorpaenidae can be excrutiatingly painful. Thank goodness I’ve never encountered it firsthand!
These fishes have to be handled with great care and respect. During my preparations to visit a sick lionfish, I came across a really good article that details what to do in an emergency situation.
Basically, have plenty of hot (45-50 degrees Celsius) water on hand that is in a container wide enough and deep enough that you can plunge your stung part of the body into. My client was good enough to have this prepared for me before I started work on their fish.
Also, have some spare forceps/tweezers ready to remove spines that may remain embedded in your skin.
Lucky for me, I had the use of anaesthetics to sedate the lionfish, reducing the risk of me being stung. I also had the use of very long forceps to move him into position as part of the physical examination, and use the net as a barrier between me and the spines (pictured, Dr Loh tube feeding the lionfish).
Dr Richmond Loh
DipProjMgt, BSc, BVMS, MPhil (Pathology), MANZCVS (Aquatics & Pathobiology), CertAqV, CMAVA, NATA Signatory.
THE FISH VET, Perth, Western Australia, AUSTRALIA.
Mobile Aquatic Veterinary Medical & Diagnostic Services.
Ph: +61 (0)421 822 383
President WAVMA 2014
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