Hot water immersion as a treatment for stonefish sting: A case report

Malays Fam Physician. 2013 Apr 30;8(1):28-32. eCollection 2013.


The North Borneo state of Sabah is known worldwide for its beautiful islands and dive sites. Local hospitals deal with a number of marine-related injuries, including marine fauna envenomation by Scorpaenidae and Synanceiidae families of fish. We report a case of a tourist who presented with excruciating pain on her right foot after stepping on a stonefish. Despite being given parenteral analgesia and regional anaesthesia, the pain persisted. Her pain improved after she soaked her foot in hot water for about 30 minutes. No further treatment was required. We reviewed the literature comparing this inexpensive mode of treatment with other conventional treatments. We also explored the possibility of using hot water immersion for treatment of envenomation by other types of marine animals.

Keywords: Scorpaenidae; Synanceiidae; envenomation; hot water immersion; stonefish.

Publication types

  • Case Reports