I'm a 17 y/o EMT & lifeguard on a major tourist beach in Asia. The tower saw a younger child get into a surfing collision and not come up so we were sent out to his location. En route the tower notified us he was giving the 1 hand up "help" signal.
By time the first lifeguard hit the water, we had 2 other hands up. The first lifeguard got the kid who started giving the choking signal on the way in, and I was headed out for the other two who turned out to be faking to mock the kid. I notified the tower who sent more staff down and called the police.
After I get in, our patient is a 13y/o local boy. Was cyanotic & giving the choking signal 1 handed. Was recieving heimlich thrusts at that time. There was some obvious injuries as well (shoulder dislocated, abrasions & lacerations).
The heimlich was going unsuccessfully – one of us took a peak in the mouth & saw a blockage. I switched out doing heimlichs with the person doing them and the person doing them removed the blockage by hand.
Turns out the blockage was a Portuguese man o war. After interviewing the patient he said the tentacles were swallowed only and the bell was causing the airway instruction in the throat… We're very familiar with them here, but not with oral/esophageal sting effects.
We put oxygen on the patient – our only mask size adult didn't quite fit him; neither did the peds mask, but we kept it on for some oxygenation at minimum. He insisted on self-resetting the shoulder against our advice(and did). We bandaged him up and immobilized the shoulder to the best of our ability. The patient started dry heaving, vomiting, having breathing difficulties.
We ended up giving an epi-pen because of allergy symptoms, and handed him over to EMS.
The fake-drowners were removed from the beach and had charges filed against them for abuse of emergency services.
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