In a medical emergency call triple zero (000) for an ambulance.


The DRSABCD Action Plan is the first step when providing first aid. Use this to assess the immediate situation. DRSABCD Danger > Response > Send for help > Airway > Breathing > CPR > Defibrillation


Pressure bandaging and immobilisation
Suitable for any snake bite (including sea snakes), funnel-web spider and mouse spider bites, blue-ringed octopus bite, cone shell sting.

  1. If the bite or sting is on a limb, apply a broad pressure bandage (crepe preferred) over the bite site.

  2. Apply a firm heavy crepe or elasticised roller bandage (10–15 centimetres wide) starting just above the fingers or toes, and moving upwards on the bitten limb as far as can be reached.

  3. Apply the bandage as tightly as possible to the limb.

  4. Immobilise the bandaged limb using splints.

  5. Seek medical aid.

Vinegar
Suitable for box jellyfish; Irukandji, morbakka and jimble jellyfish, or other tropical jellyfish sting.

  1. Immediately flood the entire stung area with lots of vinegar for at least 30 seconds. DO NOT use fresh water.

  2. If pain relief is required, apply a cold pack only after vinegar has been applied.

  3. Urgently seek medical aid at a hospital if symptoms are severe.

Hot water
Suitable for bluebottle and other nontropical jellyfish stings; stinging fish (eg stonefish, lionfish, bullrout); stingray, crown-of-thorns starfish, sea urchin. DO NOT use on suspected box jellyfish or Irukandji stings.

  1. Check the water to ensure it is as hot as you can comfortably tolerate before treating the patient.

  2. Place the stung area in hot water for 20 minutes—help patient under a hot shower, place a stung hand or foot in hot water, or pour hot water over the stung area. Do not burn the patient.

  3. Remove briefly before reimmersing.

  4. Continue this cycle if pain persists.

  5. Urgently seek medical aid at a hospital if symptoms are severe.

Cold pack
Suitable for red-back spider or other spider bite; bee, wasp or ant sting; tick bite; scorpion or centipede sting; jellyfish sting.

  1. Apply a cold pack to the bitten or stung area for 15 minutes and reapply if pain continues.

  2. The cold pack should be changed when necessary to maintain the same level of coldness.

  3. Seek medical aid if the pain worsens.


All content in Sonder's Help Centre is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional. Our nurses are available 24/7 to help you find the care you need.

Information originally published by St John Ambulance Australia.

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