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2016 WOWSA Man of the Year – Nejib Belhedi
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Monday, March 10, 2014
Incorrect And Dangerous Use Of EPI Pens With Box Jellies
Treatment of jellyfish stings has long been discussed among lifeguards and swimmers and generally misunderstood by the general public.
In case of being stung by box jellyfish, one of the world's most venomous marine creatures, Dr. Yanigahara explains,
"The response to the sting is not an allergic reaction. It is not at all like a bee sting. The venom of the box jelly contains ancient pore-forming proteins structurally similar to anthrolysin O and streptolysin O, the pore-forming toxins of anthrax and strep.
People are not allergic to these pathogenic bacteria either. Our blood cells are uniquely vulnerable to box jelly porins and to bacterial porins. There is no immunity or resistance - it is a question of the dose delivered.
Unfortunately, thinner skin areas of the body will allow a greater dose to be delivered. Women and children have thinner skin. So if an adult man is stung over thicker skin a smaller amount of venom will reach the blood stream than a sting of a child over a thinner skin region, such as face or neck."
Some of the most persistently repeated treatments of jellyfish stings, and box jellies in particular, are with EPI pens. But Dr. Yanagihara who has carefully researched the chemistry of the jellyfish venom strongly advises against use of EPI pens. "EPI pens are absolutely contraindicated. I cannot stress this enough.
I am conducting studies now involving box jelly venom injection into piglets. The data clearly show as our human whole blood studies show that the venom itself causes a massive rise in plasma catecholamines - EPI and NorEPI. This is well reported in the clinical literature as a "catecholamine surge". Adding an EPI injection on top of that situation is like adding fuel to a fire."
She even reports a shocking revelation regarding use of EPI pens to alleviate the pain of a box jellyfish sting. "In fact, the losses of life that have occurred from box jelly sting have almost always involved well intentioned EPI administration. My studies are not yet published, but please be advised that the use of EPI pen is an extremely dangerous practice and yields no therapeutic benefit whatsoever.
I am happy to share my unpublished data with local medical decision-makers. A Japanese tourist recently died after a sting from the same influxing box jellyfish species we have here (Alatina alata) in Saipan. Emergency treatment included EPI administration."
Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
The Other Shore
The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.
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The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.