Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Emerg Med J. 2006 Jul;23(7):503-8.

Is hot water immersion an effective treatment for marine envenomation?

Author information

  • 1Emergency Department, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK.


Envenomation by marine creatures is common. As more people dive and snorkel for leisure, the incidence of envenomation injuries presenting to emergency departments has increased. Although most serious envenomations occur in the temperate or tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region, North American and European waters also provide a habitat for many stinging creatures. Marine envenomations can be classified as either surface stings or puncture wounds. Antivenom is available for a limited number of specific marine creatures. Various other treatments such as vinegar, fig juice, boiled cactus, heated stones, hot urine, hot water, and ice have been proposed, although many have little scientific basis. The use of heat therapies, previously reserved for penetrating fish spine injuries, has been suggested as treatment for an increasing variety of marine envenomation. This paper reviews the evidence for the effectiveness of hot water immersion (HWI) and other heat therapies in the management of patients presenting with pain due to marine envenomation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central Icon for PubMed Central Icon for PubMed Health
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk