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First Aid & Emergencies

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Catfish Sting Treatment

Call 911 if: 

  • The person is having trouble breathing.

  • The person is having trouble breathing.

1. Get the Person Out of the Water

2. Do CPR if the Person Is Not Breathing

3. Clean Wound

  • Use tweezers to remove all catfish spines.
  • Scrub wound with soap and water.
  • Rinse extensively with fresh or salt water.

4. Submerge Wound in Hot Water

  • Soak for at least 30 minutes in water as hot as the person can tolerate.

5. Do Not Cover Wound

6. Treat Pain

  • Give over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).

7. See a Doctor As Soon As Possible

8. Follow Up

  • The doctor will clean and treat the wound and may give a tetanus shot, if needed.
  • The person may receive pain medication and antibiotics to prevent infection.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on September 08, 2013

First Aid A-Z

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