Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Kemp's ridley survives boat strike

For the third Saturday night in a row, the call came in from the SC Department of Natural Resources that a live sea turtle had been found. A young Kemp's ridley with a boat strike was pulled from the May River in Bluffton, SC on June 6th. It was almost 11:30pm when DNR arrived with the injured turtle where the Sea Turtle Hospital Team was ready for action.

Blood was taken to get hematocrit and protein levels which would tell us how much blood the animal had lost. Although the numbers were somewhat low, we could tell that the turtle had not lost a tremendous amount. The fracture is right over the lung and each time the animal took a breath, the tissue moved up and down. Although this a traumatic injury, it didn't appear as though lung tissue had actually been penetrated. The wound received copious amounts of flushing with saline and fluids were also given subcutaneously (pictured below with intern Liz Mills administering fluids).

An antibiotic injection was given to prevent infection. The cleaned wound was then packed with silver sulfadiazine, an ointment containing antibacterial and antifungal agents. A wrap was placed over the wound and the turtle placed in shallow salt water.

Thanks to all involved in the rescue of this turtle! You can get more information about this turtle on the main hospital page.
Kelly T