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July 11, 1966

The Treatment of Stingray Injuries

Author Affiliations

Cúcuta, Colombia

JAMA. 1966;197(2):153. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110020141059

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To the Editor:—  In tropical climates stingray wounds may not heal for months (195:708, 1966), leaving bad scars. Since 1940 a treatment has been used which yields rapid healing without unbearable pains. There is no scarring of significance and a minimum incapacitation during recovery.The sting of the stingray is a bone, like a double-toothed saw, which lies in a small canal over the tail of the fish. This canal contains glands which secrete a sticky liquid, which is strongly alkaline and is highly destructive to soft tissues.The treatment I have followed consists of immersing the affected member in a warm solution of lactic acid in water, 0.5% to 1.0% depending upon the size of the wounds. This is continued for three to five days. Secondary infection is prevented by the administration of antibiotics.Under this regimen analgesics are needed in minimal amount, if at all. In four

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