[Coral-List] Injury by sea creature

Verena Wiesbauer Ali marinebiology.verena at gmail.com
Mon Jun 13 19:30:22 EDT 2011

Dear listers,

A friend of mine, a medical doctor, is currently struggling with one of his patient's symptoms and has asked me for suggestions, since he knows I've been co-authoring a book on venomous/poisonous marine animals & thinks she has her injuries from "corals" (even though it's unlikely that a coral is causing her troubles, this justifies me to post following on the Coral List!). Our book, though it doesn't have the answer to this particular case, is cited at the end of the mail, if anyone is interested.

Since that girl must have stepped on some sea creature in the shallow lagoon of one of the Maldive islands, I suggest it was a scorpionfish (since they are quite abundant here), but the doctor's report lacks the severe pain one experiences when being envenomed by a Scorpion/Stonefish. However, I thought some of you, many living by the sea, might be familiar with following symptoms and could give me a hint? On request, I could also send photos.

Thanks in advance!

"The girl sustained her injury two years ago. Ever since, she has had eczema-like skin lesions over the heel of her right foot.She has no history of any allergies and has no allergic manifestations.  When left untreated the skin over her right heel develops vesicles or bullae which erupt in due course of time and leave areas of denuded dermis. The exposed area becomes pale and covered with a serous exudate. I have attached a few pictures of partially healed lesions. These were taken about a week ago, after a short course of steroids. Her condition has since relapsed . X- rays of her foot show no  embedded foreign bodies or evidence of periostial involvement. Swab cultures have registered no growth.   Hope you can shed some light on this case. We have been treating it as a case of eczema until now with moderate success."

Kikinger R, Lindner J, Wiesbauer V (2009) Dangerous Marine Animals - Biology, Injuries & Medical Treatment. Atoll Images, Male', Maldives.

Verena Wiesbauer Ali, M.Sc.
Marine Biologist / Zoologist
Reef restoration & rehabilitation
EIA Consultant: 03/10
Austria and Maldives

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