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January 30, 1967

Portuguese Man-of-War EnvenomizationA Personal Experience

JAMA. 1967;199(5):337-338. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120050079021

THE FOLLOWING is a description of a systemic reaction to the sting of a Portuguese Man-of-War; the sting occurred while I was on a training exercise with the 8th Special Forces Group SCUBA Team in Limon Bay, Canal Zone.

Report of a Case  While swimming at a depth of 15 feet, I felt a sudden severe stinging sensation on the right shoulder, as though a hot iron had been placed there. The shock of the contact was sufficient to bring about an involuntary jerking and thrashing in the water. Within seconds there began a sensation of tightness in the chest and a bilateral subcostal constriction. The burning in the shoulder spread rapidly to include the upper arm, and cramping began deep in the hypogastrium. Concurrently there were abdominal skeletal muscle spasms and waves of paresthesias of a tingling nature which started in the shoulder and moved over the body.Within