Friday, January 25, 2013

Beware of Sea Urchins: These can be life threatening

Diving into sea is one of the many hobbies for the people around the world. Divers usually come across small Sea Urchins which are thorny and spiny, globular animals found on the sea beds. These small animals look beautiful perched between rocks, coloutful reef and plants and admired.

But beware!! These small thorny creatures can be deadly and life threatening. But Callum Hall 20 did not know this.

Callum, with girlfriend Ailish Wilkinson, before [L] and after [R] being stung by the sea urchin [Photo credit: Wilkinson ]

Callum Hall was on holidays and boating when he jumped into the sea off the island of Skiathos, Greece and stepped over a sea urchin. But this sting cost him with his lower bottom half for life, at least for now.

The sea urchin felt like a bee sting to Callum - but he did not think of the incident anymore. However, three weeks later he developed a rare and deadly infection. The sting of the urchin in fact caused  abscess twice the size of a tennis ball had grown on his spine, which then burst, damaging his spinal cord and leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.

Although the damage has been done, but a determined Callum, a sports student is determined to walk again and is raising money as possible for continuing physio, equipment and care.

Callum has vowed not to be defeated  - and now plans to take part in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil.

What to do if you are stung by a sea urchin:

Beware: Sea Urchins can be deadly and life threatening

  • A puncture wound from a sea urchin (like the one pictured, right) can be painful and cause swelling and redness around the affected area. 
  • If you have been stung by a sea urchin, and you have puncture wounds in several places, you may experience more severe symptoms including: tiredness, weakness, aching muscles, shock, respiratory failure and paralysis.
  • The NHS says that in very rare cases, severe injuries from sea urchins have been known to cause death.
  • You should seek immediate medical attention if the symptoms include breathing problems, chest pain, signs of infection, such as increased redness and swelling in the affected area, and a high temperature of 38C or above.
  • Medical assistance is also required if there are spines in or near a joint, as they may need to be surgically removed.
via Mail Online


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