Stingrays are commonly found lying half-buried in the sand of coastal temperate areas. Stingrays like smooth water so be extra careful during that time. Stingrays feel the vibrations when you shuffle in the sand and swim away … be safe, do the stingray shuffle!

Sting Ray injuries

Are you a victim?

Congratulations.  You have sustained an injury whose pain is ranked right up there between having a baby and delivering a kidney stone. The venom from a sting ray barb is a marine neurotoxin. If you have been unfortunate enough to encounter a sting ray and sustained an injury you have a narrow treatment window of two hours where effective countermeasures can be taken to reduce your pain and decrease any opportunistic infections. (this absolutely does NOT include the use of urine or vinegar!)

Tampa Bay Stingray Season: May – October

If you are stung by a Stingray visit or call our office immediately at 727-517-1500. Pieces of the stingray barb can be stuck in the wound and must be removed.

Injuries tend to occur when an unsuspecting person steps on the stingray, causing the animal to reflexively strike the person with its defensive mechanism. The stingray’s tail has one or more barbed stingers and 2 ventrolateral venom containing grooves. The tail is thrust into the victim, usually in the foot or lower leg, producing a deep jagged laceration from the serrated spine. The injury can be immediately fatal as unfortunately experienced by naturalist and TV personality Steve Irwin. The stinger apparatus then injects a protein based toxin into the wound, causing immediate intense (even excruciating) pain in the victim. Injury may occur without envenomation because many stingrays lose or tear the integumentary sheath covering the venom glands.

The wound may bleed freely and the patient may have systemic symptoms including:

  • Syncope
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Diaphoresis
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Hypotension

IS THE DOCTOR IN?