Catfish Sting Treatment

Call 911 if: 

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

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 David T. Derrer, MD on September 12, 2015

Sources

SOURCES:

Fermie, P. The Illustrated Practical Book of First Aid & Family Health, Lorenz Books, 2005.

Shepherd, S. Journal of Wilderness Medicine, 1994.

Health and Safety Institute GotoAID: “Catfish Sting.”

Utox Update, University of Utah College of Pharmacy: “Marine Envenomations.”

Catfish Sting Treatment Information from eMedicineHealth.

© 2015 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.