Sudden death following coelenterate envenomation is not uncommon in Australia where the Pacific box jellyfish is indigenous. However, few cases of sudden fatal reactions have been reported in the Northern Hemisphere, and those that have occurred have all been attributed to the Portuguese man-of-war, Physalia physalis. We report the case of a child who died within 40 minutes of accidental envenomation with tentacles of a jellyfish, Chiropsalmus quadrumanus, and describe the findings at autopsy. This coelenterate may be of special danger to small children.
Bengston K, Nichols MM, Schnadig V, Ellis MD. Sudden Death in a Child Following Jellyfish Envenomation by Chiropsalmus quadrumanusCase Report and Autopsy Findings. JAMA. 1991;266(10):1404-1406. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470100096040