Sublingual glyceryl trinitrate as prehospital treatment for hypertension in Irukandji syndrome

Peter J Fenner and Morris Lewin
Med J Aust 2003; 179 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2003.tb05740.x
Published online: 1 December 2003

To the Editor: The Irukandji syndrome can cause severe hypertension (over 220/110 mmHg)1 and has caused two fatalities from cerebrovascular haemorrhage.2 There is no first aid treatment for the severe pain or hypertension, so developing an effective prehospital treatment is a priority.

  • Surf Life Saving Australia, Sydney, NSW.



Donations were received from Thyne Reid Education Trust No 1, GBR Research Foundation, and the Australian Lions Foundation for Research on dangerous Marine Species. We thank Island Clinics for their cooperation and the doctors who encouraged us despite initial opposition to the trial treatment.

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  • 2. Fenner PJ, Hadok JC. Fatal envenomation by jellyfish causing Irukandji syndrome. Med J Aust 2002; 177: 362-363. <MJA full text>
  • 3. Tibballs J, Hawdon G, Winkel K. Mechanism of cardiac failure in Irukandji syndrome and first aid treatment for stings [letter]. Anaesth Intensive Care 2001; 29: 552.
  • 4. Corkeron MA. Magnesium infusion to treat Irukandji syndrome [letter]. Med J Aust 2003; 178: 41. <MJA full text>
  • 5. Queensland Health. The Queensland Spinal Cord Injuries Service. Autonomic dysreflexia. Available at: (accessed Sep 2003).
  • 6. Queensland Ambulance Service. Marine envenomation education program. Facilitator guided overview. Brisbane: QAS, 2003: 2.


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