Paramedics have praised quick-thinking bystanders for pouring vinegar on a Townsville woman after she was stung by a box jellyfish. Picture: Megan Love
Paramedics have praised quick-thinking bystanders for pouring vinegar on a Townsville woman after she was stung by a box jellyfish. Picture: Megan Love

Swimmer stung by deadly jellyfish

Paramedics are urging swimmers in North Queensland to stick to patrolled beaches protected by "stinger nets" after a woman was stung by a deadly box jellyfish on the weekend.

The woman, in her 40s, was swimming at Pallarenda Beach near Townsville about midday on Sunday when she was stung on her leg and abdomen.

Vinegar helps remove any other tentacles from the box jellyfish victim. Picture Patrina Malone
Vinegar helps remove any other tentacles from the box jellyfish victim. Picture Patrina Malone

Quick thinking bystanders poured vinegar on her before paramedics arrived to take her to hospital, Critical Care Paramedic Reece Thomas said.

"It was clear she was unwell … She was very sweaty, nauseated and vomiting and she was in an incredible amount of pain," he said.

"I could see the very characteristic, wheel-like frosted pattern we associate with box jellyfish stings.

"We carry box jellyfish anti-venom, so we gave her that to help with her pain and help mitigate any severe side effects."

She was taken to Townsville Hospital in a stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.

Mr Thomas said it had been reassuring to see so many vinegar bottles on the beach, but issued a reminder to swimmers given the fatal nature of some box jellyfish stings.

"Stick to patrolled beaches, and only swim within the stinger nets," he said.

Originally published as Swimmer stung by deadly jellyfish



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