What to do if you get stung by a bluebottle- as figures show numbers taken to hospital

We have students every week in our first aid course ask about blue bottle stings. these are one of the most common stings that occur especially in summer when everyone is at the beach. Please learn the correct first aid course techniques by attending one of our cheap but effective first aid courses. We complete our first aid courses at the Dickson Tradies.

A 15-year-old girl was stung in ten places by bluebottles last month, as ambulance bosses revealed more than one person a week was hospitalised by marine life across the northern beaches last year.

Bluebottles were the most common culprit, with 43 calls for ambulances due to the creatures including for the girl, who was injured on December 5.

Sophie Bowman 4 checking out the bluebottles on Fairlight Beach in 2014. Picture: Bradley Hunter

She was stung across her legs, hips and stomach at Manly.

Last February, a 25-year-old male was also taken to hospital after struggling to breathe at Narrabeen, after being stung.

Meanwhile, three people who were stung by jellyfish in 2016 called ambulances, one person was the victim of an octopus sting, while 29 people were stung by stingrays, which are notorious in Pittwater.

A bluebottle jellyfish. Picture: Kit Wise

There were four stingray cases on December 30 alone across NSW, including a 55-year-old man who was stung at Ku-ring-gai Chase.

There were no incidents involving sharks in the area, which covers Sydney Harbour Bridge to Palm Beach.

The figures are the highest overall out of Sydney’s four ambulance districts.

However, while bosses said bluebottles are a part of summer, brought in to beaches by northeast winds, stings should be taken seriously.

Manly Daily reader Kim De Kock’s image of Bluebottles at Little Manly

NSW Ambulance paramedic Matt Burke said: “Bluebottle stings can induce a potential anaphylactic or severe reaction in some people, particularly if there is any immune compromise.

“If you get a series of stings or if you get stung around the airway, you can get some swelling and some possible airway compromise.”

He said it was important to remove the affected person from the water and perform basic first aid as soon as possible, and call triple-0 if necessary.

The figures from across NSW show ocean bites and stings peaked in January and February.

Bluebottle washed on the beach. Picture: Regi Varghese


Bluebottles Rinse area with seawater to remove remaining stings, place in hot water

S tingrays Place in hot water, control any bleeding with pressure; if the barb is embedded, do not remove it, but get to hospital

Blue-ringed octopus Apply a pressure immobilisation bandage and get to hospital

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