Gulf of Mexico
A loggerhead turtle receives intravenous lipid emulsion treatment at Florida’s Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach. Scientists observed that symptoms of red tide poisoning disappeared within 24 hours / LOGGERHEAD MARINELIFE CENTER

Drug overdose treatment for humans can detox turtles poisoned by red tide, study shows

A detox therapy used to treat overdoses in humans may help save endangered sea turtles from red tide poisoning. (With American Shoreline Podcast).

Injecting a fat solution in sea turtles that have been exposed to red tide can eliminate toxins from the blood stream in just 24 hours, research by the Loggerhead Marinelife Center showed. Currently, treatments involve giving the turtles diuretics to force their kidneys to filter the toxins out of the body. That’s a slow process in which full recovery can take up to three months, lowering the chances of survival and successful return to the wild.

“Red tides are becoming more frequent, and we’re going to see more strandings of threatened turtles,” said Dr. Justin Perrault, director of research at Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach. “This treatment could help us get them back into their environment faster, which is important for their populations.”

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