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Med J Aust. 1998 Dec 7-21;169(11-12):638-41.

A year's experience of Irukandji envenomation in far north Queensland.

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  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Cairns Base Hospital, QLD.


Envenomation by the Irukandji jellyfish (Carukia barnesi) can result in an array of systemic symptoms known as Irukandji syndrome. In 1996, 62 people presented to Cairns emergency departments with Irukandji envenomation: 57 developed systemic symptoms, and 38 required parenteral narcotics. All patients were discharged home within 24.5 hours, except for two who required high-dependence care for pulmonary oedema. Patients were more likely to be stung on hotter days, with lower-than-average rainfall in the past seven days, and with winds from the north, but less-than-average wind speed. We offer a protocol for treating patients with Irukandji envenomation.

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