Summit Up 6-10-12: Watch out for those jellyfish |

Summit Up 6-10-12: Watch out for those jellyfish

Summit Up
Special to the Daily

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up the world’s only daily column that has never been stung by a jellyfish. This is probably because those things freak us out (where do they keep their brains?!) and we therefore keep a safe distance between our skin and any body of water we know to contain jellyfish in any significant quantity. So we don’t think the following advice will ever really apply to us.

But for all of you adventurous water-sports enthusiasts who are less vigilant about your proximity to jellyfish, if you ever get stung (and you probably will) here are some tips to help you out, courtesy of this random lady from Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Millions of Summit Up Readers: What dat?

Summit Up: Does it really matter?

MSUR: Actually, no not at all. We’re probably going to take their advice anyway. What do they say?

SU: They say exactly thus (spoiler alert: the following is helpful information embedded in very boring prose. Proceed with caution.):

“Don’t pee on that jellyfish sting.

“‘Home remedies for jellyfish stings – such as vinegar, alcohol, meat tenderizer, baking soda and urine – may be less effective at relieving pain than plain hot water and lidocaine, according to a paper published online Tuesday in Annals of Emergency Medicine.

“‘Some of the remedies promoted by word of mouth and online, such as vinegar, actually make the pain worse with certain species of jellyfish,’ said lead study author Nicholas T. Ward, MD, of the University of California San Diego Department of Emergency Medicine. ‘Current evidence suggests hot water and topical lidocaine, which is available at local pharmacies, may be more universally beneficial in treating pain from a jellyfish sting. Topical lidocaine, a local anesthetic, may also inactivate the stinging cells of the jellyfish, preventing further envenomation.’

“Dr. Ward and his team performed a systematic review of 19 studies of various treatments for envenomation by jellyfish and related organisms in North America and Hawaii. Although vinegar exacerbates pain in stings from most species, it may be beneficial in treating stings by the bluebottle jellyfish, also known as Portuguese man-o-war.”

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to stop a jellyfish that has just stung you to say, “Ouch, ouch, and excuse me, but are you a bluebottle jellyfish, also known as Portuguese man-o-war?” It is almost equally difficult to pick up said jellyfish and compare him to the photos in your pocket invertebrates-of-the-sea identification book without being stung again. So we suggest you just take the good doctor’s advice and use the lidocaine, lest you go through the horrible experience of peeing on yourself only to find you weren’t stung by the right kind of jellyfish for that to be an effective remedy.

OK moving right along.


We’ve got another Angel Alert!! Angel Alert!! today. Mad props to Jack Spencer, a little camper who made a big difference to one of his campmates recently, landing himself the title of “Camper of the Month.”

Breckenridge Mountain Camp coordinator Jon Dorr writes:

“Jack Spencer went above and beyond in his assistance of a fellow camper. This camper had special needs and needed a helper in her afternoon activity. Jack showed great responsibility and leadership.”

Way to go Jack!


Finally, we feel it’s important that we wish you a very happy Sunday today, and remind you that Sunday is the day known for holding BBQs if it’s warm, Brrr-becues if it’s cold and BawbeQUEs if you’re from New England. Actually, the Summit Up powers that be just recently gave us license to spell “barbecue” any way we want within the pages of Summit Up and we felt like we should get it all out of our system. We feel so much better. Now we can go back to writing about plain-old-vanilla barbecues in all other facets of our life.

We out.

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