Merseyside faces jellyfish invasion as beachgoers in hospital

Dozens of people told of suffering painful jellyfish stings on the Merseyside coastline.

Coastguard officers have offered urgent advice on how to prevent being stung and how to treat any injuries.

While most stings have been relatively minor, the Wirral Coastguard said some victims had suffered more serious injuries and were treated at A&E in Arrowe Park Hospital, Birkenhead.

The service has received reports of a higher than normal amount of stings in the past two days, which are not isolated to a specific location although some have centred around New Brighton beach.

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Experts have advised against some traditional treatments, such as using vinegar or even urinating on the site of the sting.

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Michael Buratti, Station Officer for Wirral Coastguard Rescue Team said: ”If you are going to the beach, we would advise you to be careful if entering the water and if you see a jelly fish, try and avoid coming into contact with it.

"If you have any concerns about jellyfish, you can ask a Lifeguard for advice.”

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On Facebook some beachgoers shared their experiences of being stung.

Peter Heller posted: "I got stung yesterday after my fishing line wrapped around one and I touched the line afterwards and touched my face, so uncomfortable."

Dave Perry wrote: "Don’t let your kids go paddling barefoot. A dose of weever venom hurts like you wouldn’t believe and can involve a trip to A&E."

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Natalie Liversedge said: "My little boy got stung last year in New Brighton, this was the worst thing, he was in hospital and the only thing what helped his pain was warm water running, so they put him into a sink.

"6 hours later he stopped screaming. It's so bad but if happens to anyone on here, straight into warm clean running water on the sting."

The Coastguard shared NHS dos and don'ts for anyone unlucky enough to be stung.

Rebecca Ashton wrote on Facebook: "Funnily enough just picked my daughter and her friend up from West Kirby having been stung, she'll know to look out for them next time."

Jenny Wilson commented: "Our dog was stung today whilst walking on the beach to WK from Hoylake.. Large brown round blobs that have been identified as Portuguese Man of War.

"Had to take her to the vet – £108 bill. Poor thing was obviously in a lot of pain."

Do

☑️ rinse the affected area with seawater (not fresh water)

☑️ remove any spines from the skin using tweezers or the edge of a bank card

☑️ soak the area in very warm water (as hot as can be tolerated) for at least 30 minutes – use hot flannels or towels if you cannot soak it

☑️ take painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen

Don't

✖️ do not use vinegar

✖️ do not pee on the sting

✖️ do not apply ice or a cold pack

✖️ do not touch any spines with your bare hands

✖️ do not cover or close the wound

Go to a minor injuries unit if you have:

▪️ severe pain that is not going away
▪️ been stung on your face or genitals
▪️ been stung by a stingray

Go to A&E or call 999 if you have been stung and have:

▪️ difficulty breathing
▪️ chest pain
▪️ fits or seizures
▪️ severe swelling around the affected area
▪️ severe bleeding
▪️ vomiting
▪️ lightheadedness or loss of consciousness

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