Extremity injuries sustained in aquatic environments require unique considerations compared with injuries sustained on land. Knowledge of these considerations is becoming more important as aquatic recreational activities increase in popularity. Aquatic injuries may occur through mechanical contact with a variety of different objects or surfaces, such as a recreational device or watercraft part, or may occur through contact with marine animals. Marine animal injuries can be further categorized into bites, stings, or blunt contact, as well as venomous or nonvenomous, distinctions that should be used to guide clinical management. Numerous instances of retained foreign bodies after marine animal stings exist, which can result in infection and prolonged envenomization; thus, radiographic examination should be routinely performed in aquatic sting injuries to prevent these harmful sequelae. Any aquatic injury resulting in an open wound has an increased risk for infection, and prophylactic antibiotics must be given with consideration for the unique microbiologic flora of the aquatic environment.
From the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO.
Dr. Brophy or an immediate family member is a member of a speakers' bureau or has made paid presentations on behalf of Arthrex and serves as a board member, owner, officer, or committee member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Orthopaedic Association. Neither Dr. Bernholt nor any immediate family member has received anything of value from or has stock or stock options held in a commercial company or institution related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.