STINGER SURVIVAL: How to treat a marine sting
Knowing what to do in the event of a marine sting is vital, especially if the species turns out to be a dangerous irukandji.
LifeFlight's Chief Medical Officer, Dr Allan MacKillop, has shared a number of tips for what swimmers should do, if stung by marine animals in coastal waters.
The Bundaberg-based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter flown a man on Thursday after he suffered a marine sting, off the western side of Fraser Island.
He was treated by the Queensland Ambulance Service Critical Care Flight Paramedic and flown to Hervey Bay Hospital, in a stable condition.
It's unknown what marine species he was stung by.
A woman was flown off the island on Sunday.
Dr Allan MacKillop said there are simple treatments beachgoers can immediately apply to stings.
He said a patient stung by an irukandji jellyfish, should be removed from the water, have the area washed down and any tentacles removed with salt water.
"Then liberally apply vinegar and place cold packs over the site," he said.
"The patient may well require hospitalisation, so emergency services should be contacted as soon as possible."
Dr MacKillop said stings in South East Queensland are more likely to be from blue bottles.
"The treatment for a blue bottle sting is to remove the patient from the water, wash the sting, remove any tentacles with salt water and then apply hot water, as warm as can be safely tolerated without scalding the skin," he said.
"Warm packs can then be applied over the skin. Sometimes some oral pain relief may be required, but in general, a hospitalisation is not required."
Last week, Surf Life Saving Queensland issued a strict safety warning to beachgoers after drags were carried out off the western coast of Fraser Island.
Two potentially dangerous marine stingers were found during the drags.
The creatures were caught in stinger drags between Moon Point and Wathumba Creek within the space of 36 hours.
SLSQ Lifesaving Services Coordinator Wide Bay Julie Davis said it was possible that the creatures captured were from the irukandji family, but SLSQ wouldn't be able to identify the specific species until analysis of the specimen was completed.
"We're asking beachgoers to exercise extreme caution and consider their safety when swimming on the western side of Fraser Island," Ms Davis said.
In the event of a suspected irukandji sting, call triple-0.