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Thread: Fire Coral Nightmare!

 


  1. #1
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    Itching and just want to be
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    Exclamation Fire Coral Nightmare!

    Just found this forum, thankfully! Snorkeling in Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands on Feb. 1, 2012. Couldn't make it back to shore because I'm not a strong swimmer and waves were rough and tired me out so I tried to rest on rocks...felt like something was sucking my leg, panicked and climbed up rocks to get back to shore. Found small brown sticky circles and tried to wash them off with sea water.

    10 minutes later, made it to shore to the bar restaurant and my legs were on fire. Nurse who works at the bar gave me benadryl, vinegar. I put ice and washed with water in a basin (later found out it was a mistake to do that). Driven to local clinic to receive IV of antihistamine, hydrocortisone mix (500 mg max dosage) and later applied a topical hydrocortisone.

    Day 2- legs still burning. Took prednisone 25 mg (5 day reduction), piriton (anti-hist), and voltaren (anti-inflam). Legs finally stopped burning on Sat. (day4)

    Day 6 - went to ER in NYC, legs were healing, doc did CBC everything was ok and told me my knee was also sprained. Last 5mg dose of prednisone.

    Day 8 - went to dr at school for knee pain, they told me the healing was going well and not to use neosporin anymore, just cortisone)

    Day 10 - woke up and my legs are on fire again, this time bright red in color and inflamed and much darker bumps.
    Day 11 - back to dr, back on prednisone for 10 days starting at 60mg. Still itching a lot!!

    I don't know what to do anymore, these burns are bad!!! Never seen anything like this. Is this fire coral or something else??? I need some expert help here, anybody have any advice or could I have been stung by something else?? PLEASE SEE PICTURES Day 1, Day 1, Day 5, Day 13, Day 13
    2012-02-01_20-14-22_629.jpg2012-02-01_20-14-36_115.jpg2012-02-04_03-16-10_686.jpg2012-02-13_00-07-57_90.jpg2012-02-13_00-08-16_453.jpg

  2. #2
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    Warmer water is upon us!!!
     

    COWSskateGOOD's Avatar
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    Wow, I am no expert but I am interested in following this post.... good luck and I hope someone finds a solution for you quickly. You may receive more insight if this is moved to an appropriate forum, its posted in the intro and greetings page.....

  3. #3
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    Pullmyfinger's Avatar
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    I've had my foot scratched up pretty bad by fire coral in Palau. I spent about 20 minutes in the shower scrubbing as hard as a I could with a wash cloth and soap. I wanted to make sure I got any small coral particles out.

    A friend of mine on Guam got fire coral on one of his legs and didn't spend a lot of time scrubbing it out......this was years ago, and he still has red spots on his legs........I'm told that the coral particles end up under the skin as the area heals and they just stay there forever.

    Hearing that......I made sure I scrubbed like crazy.

    Hopefully an expert will chime in....my only frame of reference is what my friend experienced, and what I later did.

    It could just be coincidental.

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  4. #4
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    You may want to call or have your physician call Divers Alert Network (DAN)at 1-800-446-2671 for more information. They may refer you to a specialist in your area. Anyone can call, you don't have to be a member for them to answer your questions.

    Their website DAN: Divers Alert Network - Scuba Diving and Dive Safety Association has several articles on the subject:
    Divers Alert Network
    DAN | Medical Frequently Asked Questions
    Elena
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  5. #5
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    Warmer water is upon us!!!
     

    COWSskateGOOD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mselenaous View Post
    You may want to call or have your physician call Divers Alert Network (DAN)at 1-800-446-2671 for more information. They may refer you to a specialist in your area. Anyone can call, you don't have to be a member for them to answer your questions.

    Their website DAN: Divers Alert Network - Scuba Diving and Dive Safety Association has several articles on the subject:
    Divers Alert Network
    DAN | Medical Frequently Asked Questions
    Absolutely worth the money of joining as well..... (I wont start this though there are plenty of posts talking about the benefits)

  6. #6
    Jax
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    Jax's Avatar
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    As Elena says, contact DAN.

    From an earlier fire coral thread on this forum - Use a mixture of Benadryl gel / creame and hydrocortisone cream (max %).

    Benadryl first, then the hydrocortisone. Carry them with you. so when it acts up, you can reapply. Expect to be doing this for two weeks after the "second coming".

    I got hit on one hand, then a few days later, on the other. It reappeared about two weeks later on the first hand, then that same number of days later on the other hand.
    "Equality of opportunity or equality of outcome?
    One is consistent with a free people and the other requires a police state. Pick one."
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    "If a small thing has the power to make you angry, does that not indicate something about your size?" ~Sydney J. Harris
    Ephesians 4:26 In your anger do not sin.

  7. #7
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    thank you all so much for your concern, I hope so too! I emailed DAN last night so hopefully I can be referred to a specialist in the NYC or New Jersey area. I'm just thankful that nothing worse happened, but the experience has been pretty frightening to say the least.

  8. #8
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    Duke Dive Medicine's Avatar
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    Hi Wits,
    Excellent photos. It looks like you might have some retained fragments, for example, spicules from a sponge. You also may still be recovering from the effects of fire coral nematocyst discharge. In an acute sponge envenomation, it's effective to use duct tape to remove the spicules, but that would be questionable at this point.
    If the rash continues to spread or changes character, i.e. pain, swelling, warmth, and/or fever, you should see a physician immediately to rule out cellulitis.
    In general, topical corticosteroids and antihistamines can be effective in relieving symptoms like this. Please keep us posted!

    Best regards,
    DDM
    www.dukedivemedicine.org
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    Information provided is for educational purposes only, is not intended to replace the advice of your own health care practitioner, and should not be construed as a practitioner/patient relationship. Duke Dive Medicine does not condone the placement of "Skimwords" advertisements and does not endorse any of the products or services advertised.

  9. #9
    Jax
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    Forgive your enemies . .


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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke Dive Medicine View Post
    Hi Wits,
    Excellent photos. It looks like you might have some retained fragments, for example, spicules from a sponge. You also may still be recovering from the effects of fire coral nematocyst discharge. In an acute sponge envenomation, it's effective to use duct tape to remove the spicules, but that would be questionable at this point.
    If the rash continues to spread or changes character, i.e. pain, swelling, warmth, and/or fever, you should see a physician immediately to rule out cellulitis.
    In general, topical corticosteroids and antihistamines can be effective in relieving symptoms like this. Please keep us posted!

    Best regards,
    DDM

    Thanks for the tape tip!
    "Equality of opportunity or equality of outcome?
    One is consistent with a free people and the other requires a police state. Pick one."
    ~Cool Hardware52
    I, alone, am responsible for my health and safety, my actions and inactions.
    "If a small thing has the power to make you angry, does that not indicate something about your size?" ~Sydney J. Harris
    Ephesians 4:26 In your anger do not sin.

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    I know all of us in the medical comunity are going to be watching this post close. I am new to diving and do not work close to the ocean so I am of no help. I know you posted here looking for help and there have been a few with good advice. Please keep us in the loop and let us know the outcome. Thanks and good luck!

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