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First Aid for Barracuda Bite

Last updated March 5, 2018

The barracuda is a fish with a lean, torpedo-shaped body and razor sharp teeth. They normally attack in self-defense or when they feel threatened. Barracudas are also curious creatures and may follow divers for long distances.


What is Barracuda Bite?

The barracuda is a fish with a lean, torpedo-shaped body and razor sharp teeth. They normally attack in self-defense or when they feel threatened. Barracudas are also curious creatures and may follow divers for long distances.

What are the Causes of Barracuda Bite?

Most common causes of Barracuda Bites include (but are not limited to):

  • Deep sea and coral reef divers
  • Swimmers and beachgoers
  • Interacting with them, such as while hunting them, swimming around them, exploring the ocean floors within their vicinity, etc.
  • Keeping them as pets in aquariums
  • Handling these creatures, hand-feeding them

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Barracuda Bite?

The signs and symptoms of a Barracuda Bite may be mild or severe and could include:

  • Local injury, cuts, gashes, and laceration; usually on the arms (hands, fingers) or legs
  • Presence of several bite marks (a row of teeth marks may be visible)
  • Puncture wounds with severe bleeding
  • Pain
  • Swelling of the area
  • Temporary loss of function in the affected limb

How is First Aid administered for Barracuda Bite?

If a Barracuda Bite (or sting or bite of a marine creature) is suspected, it is always important to call your local emergency helpline number (or 911 in the US) without any delay, and provide as much information as possible, even if the individual does not have any symptoms.

Until medical help arrives:

  • Move the individual away from the water or incident spot
  • Make a note of the exact time of the incident and notify the emergency medical personnel accordingly
  • Use pressure to arrest bleeding (if possible)
  • Try to identify or locate the marine animal (only if safely possible) and keep the medical personnel informed
  • DO NOT give anything orally to the individual
  • Unless directed by the physician, DO NOT give any medication

Who should administer First Aid for Barracuda Bite?

The individual himself/herself or someone nearby may begin to administer First Aid. Call your local emergency helpline number or 911 immediately as mentioned before.

What is the Prognosis of Barracuda Bite?

The prognosis of Barracuda Bite is dependent on the severity of the bite. The prognosis is generally good with proper treatment.

How can Barracuda Bite be Prevented?

A few helpful tips to prevent Barracuda Bites include:

  • If you are in the vicinity of barracudas, try to slowly move away from the area (without any sudden, jerky movements)
  • Generally avoid any sort of interaction with a barracuda, including trying to touch or grab them, or hand-feeding them
  • Ensure safety precautions while cleaning marine animal aquariums; wear gloves and protective suit
  • Do not ignore warnings of lifeguards or health officials at the beach
  • Wear protective clothing if you plan to swim or dive in infested areas
  • Generally be aware or watchful of the waters you are in (to the extent possible)
  • Marine life explorers and sea adventurers are required to carry marine first aid kit

What are certain Crucial Steps to be followed?

Do’s:

  • Call your local emergency helpline number (or 911) for help
  • Remove the victim immediately from the water
  • When in doubt, wash the affected area with seawater and not freshwater
  • Immobilize the affected site (arm or leg)
  • Arrest any bleeding

Don’ts:

  • Do not hesitate to call your emergency help services
  • Do not medicate the individual, unless advised by a healthcare professional
  • Do not move the affected region of the body too much

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?


References and Information Sources used for the Article:


Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:


Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Jan. 5, 2016
Last updated: March 5, 2018