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  Great Barrier Reef - Lion Fish
   
 

Lion Fish

DescriptionLion Fish
The lion-fish belongs to the Scorpion fish family.
This brightly coloured fish is usually found in coral reefs, especially in shallow waters hovering in caves or near crevices. Lion-fish have venomous fin spines that can produce painful puncture wounds.
Fatalities, however, are rare.

The fish have elongated dorsal fin spines and enlarged pectoral fins, and each species has a particular pattern of zebra like stripes. 
A person punctured by one of the sharp spines will immediately feel strong pain. Rapid swelling of the affected body area develops along with the possibility of making movement of limbs very difficult. Lion-fish stings can cause nausea, breathing difficulties, paralysis, convulsions and collapse. Even death may occur in exceptional circumstances. Most people survive in spite of the great pain. The venom in the spines remains active for days, so even discarded spines should be treated with caution. It may take several months for a full recovery and if the sting is left untreated, gangrene may develop. 


First Aid First Aid

At first immerse the affected area (most often a hand or foot) into hot water. This is thought to improve the blood flow and disperse the venom. Local anesthetic agents may provide deep relief in most cases and occasionally a nerve-block may be required. An X-ray of the wound should be performed to detect any presence of broken spines, so any possible infection can be prevented.