Hot water immersion v icepacks for treating pain of Chironex fleckeri stings: a randomised controlled trial

Geoffrey K Isbister and Bart J Currie
Med J Aust 2017; 207 (8): . || doi: 10.5694/mja17.00675
Published online: 16 October 2017

We agree with Little that it is time to standardise first aid recommendations for jellyfish stings, as suggested by Seymour in his editorial.1 Our study adds to the evidence that forms the basis for some of the first aid recommendations for Australian jellyfish stings. However, the use of ice packs or heat will not save lives. The importance of having credible and non-conflicting Australian Resuscitation Council guidelines is that, for Chironex fleckeri envenoming, the critical messages that will save lives will hopefully now get the attention and support that the guidelines should engender; notably, that people and especially children should not enter the sea during the tropical stinger season, and that early cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the beach may prevent death.

  • 1 University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW
  • 2 Calvary Mater Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW
  • 3 Menzies School of Health, Royal Darwin Hospital, Darwin, NT


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

  • 1. Seymour JE. Are we using the correct first aid for jellyfish? Med J Aust 2017; 206: 249-250. <MJA full text>
  • 2. Isbister GK, Palmer DJ, Weir RL, Currie BJ. Hot water immersion v icepacks for treating the pain of Chironex fleckeri stings: a randomised controlled trial. Med J Aust 2017; 206: 258-261. <MJA full text>
  • 3. Currie BJ, Jacups SP. Prospective study of Chironex fleckeri and other box jellyfish stings in the “Top End” of Australia’s Northern Territory. Med J Aust 2005; 183: 631-636. <MJA full text>


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