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September 11, 1991

Sudden Death in a Child Following Jellyfish Envenomation by Chiropsalmus quadrumanus: Case Report and Autopsy Findings

JAMA. 1991;266(10):1404-1406. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470100096040

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.

(JAMA. 1991;266:1404-1406)