Venomous fish – a risk of warm seas


Authors: P. Polák;  P. Husa;  K. Povolná;  R. Svačinka;  Z. Svobodová
Authors‘ workplace: Klinika infekčních chorob FN a LF MU Brno ;  Přednosta: prof. MUDr. Petr Husa, CSc.
Published in: Prakt. Lék. 2009; 89(12): 685-688
Category: Case Report

Overview

In the era of rapidly developing tourism we have to be prepared for yet unknown or underestimated health-risks resulting from visits to foreign countries. We outline the clinical cases of two patients who were seen at the emergency department of the Department of infectious diseases at the University Hospital in Brno within a very short period of time, both after being stung by venomous fish in the Mediterranean. The species they were stung by were most probably s.c. stonefish (Synanceia) and weeverfish (Trachinus) – both typical benthic fish with well-developed venomous apparatus. The venom of these fish has polymorph effects on the human organism, but only in rare cases is it life-threatening. Nevertheless there may be long lasting consequences. The bacterial infection of the wound may also be a serious complication. First aid consists of applying a warm bath (the venom is termolabile), wound cleaning, potentially using a specific anti-venom. Broad spectrum antibiotic therapy is always indicated. The aim of this article is to highlight some lesser-known risks of visiting of warm seas and to give a complex overview of the medical first aid following such an injury.

Key words:
Synanceia, Trachinus, envenomation, first aid.


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