Fatal envenomation by jellyfish causing Irukandji syndrome

Paul M Bailey
Med J Aust 2003; 178 (3): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2003.tb05108.x
Published online: 3 February 2003

To the Editor: Interpretation of the report describing the first death attributed to the Irukandji syndrome should be tempered by the fact that significant unstated assumptions have been made in attributing the cause of death to a jellyfish.1 While envenomation by a jellyfish remains the likely diagnostic possibility, no evidence is presented that unequivocally confirms a jellyfish as the lethal agent.


  • 1. Fenner P, Hadok JC. Fatal envenomation by jellyfish causing Irukandji syndrome. Med J Aust 2002; 177: 362-363. <eMJA full text>
  • 2. Currie BJ, Wood YK. Identification of Chironex fleckeri envenomation by nematocyst recovery from skin. Med J Aust 1995; 162: 478-480.
  • 3. Taylor McD D, Pereira P, Seymour J, Winkel KD. A sting from an unknown jellyfish species associated with persistent symptoms and raised troponin I levels. Emerg Med (Fremantle, WA). 2002; 14: 175-180.
  • 4. Little M. Is there a role for the use of pressure immobilisation bandages in the treatment of jellyfish envenomation in Australia. Emerg Med (Fremantle, WA). 2002; 14: 171-174.
  • 5. Fenner P, Carney I. The Irukandji syndrome. A devastating syndrome caused by a north Australian jellyfish. Aust Fam Physician 1999; 28: 1131-1137.


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.