February 7, 1966

Injuries to Man From Marine Invertebrates in the Australian Region

Author Affiliations



by Sir John B. Cleland and R. V. Southcott (National Health and Medical Research Council Special Report Series No. 12), 282 pp, with illus, paper, Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia, 1965.

JAMA. 1966;195(6):502. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100060142057

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Examination of this book could not fail to give some pleasurable satisfaction to any physician with a moderate curiosity about the hazards of bathing in salt waters, from the invertebrates which inhabit them.

The greatest part of the book is given to coelenterates and the many types of "jellyfish" stings they may produce, some mild, some excruciatingly painful, and some on occasion lethal. It has been necessary for the authors to rely upon news reports and secondary accounts of many of the examples, medical observation the exception rather than the rule. Nevertheless, some excellent illustrations of the dermal reactions are given, and the mechanisms are stated as well as is possible; too frequently, however, the knowledge of toxic agents, allergic reactions, or anaphylaxis, is fragmentary or even speculative.

Against these difficulties, the accounts are well prepared and stripped of emotional overtone. The illustrations of the marine creatures are uniformly fine.

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