Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Hot water immersion v icepacks for treating the pain of Chironex fleckeri stings: a randomised controlled trial.
Authors: Isbister, Geoffrey K
Palmer, Didier J
Weir, Rebecca L
Currie, Bart J
Affiliation: University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW
Royal Darwin Hospital, Darwin, NT..
Royal Darwin Hospital, Darwin, NT..
Menzies School of Health, Royal Darwin Hospital, Darwin, NT..
Issue Date: 3-Apr-2017
Citation: The Medical journal of Australia 2017-04-03; 206(6): 258-261
Abstract: To investigate the effectiveness of hot water immersion for relieving the pain of major box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri) stings.Design, interventions: Open label, randomised controlled trial comparing the effects of hot water immersion (45°C) and icepacks.Setting, participants: 42 patients with suspected C. fleckeri stings treated in the emergency department of the Royal Darwin Hospital during September 2005 - October 2008. The primary outcome was pain severity, assessed with a visual analogue scale (VAS). Secondary outcomes included crossover to the alternative treatment, use of opioid analgesia, emergency department length of stay (LOS), and delayed urticaria. Of 42 patients (26 males; median age, 19 years; IQR, 13-27 years), 25 were allocated to icepack treatment and 17 to hot water immersion. The demographic and baseline VAS data for the two groups were similar. After 30 minutes of treatment, 11 patients (65%) treated with hot water and 14 (56%) treated with icepacks had clinically improved pain scores (absolute difference, 9%; 95% CI, -22% to 39%; P = 0.75). One patient treated with icepacks crossed over to heat immersion. Two patients in each arm received intravenous opioid analgesia. Median emergency department LOS was 1.6 h (IQR, 1.0-1.8 h) for icepack patients and 2.1 h (IQR, 1.6-2.8 h) for heat immersion patients (P = 0.07). Five of seven patients who were followed up developed delayed urticaria. Hot water immersion was no more effective than icepacks for reducing the acute pain of box jellyfish stings, but increased emergency department LOS by about 30 minutes. Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, ACTRN12605000007639.
Type: Comparative Study
Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial
Subjects: Adolescent
Analgesics, Opioid
Bites and Stings
Hot Temperature
Pain Management
Pain Measurement
Treatment Outcome
Young Adult
Appears in Collections:NT Health digital library

Files in This Item:
There are no files associated with this item.

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.