Randomised trial of magnesium in the treatment of Irukandji syndrome
ABSTRACT Irukandji syndrome is a distressing condition characterised by pain, hypertension and tachycardia. Some develop cardiac failure and there have been two reported deaths. Magnesium sulphate has become the standard of care despite minimal evidence. The aim of this study was to investigate if magnesium would reduce analgesic requirement and length of stay for patients with Irukandji syndrome.
This was a double-blind, randomised controlled clinical trial. Patients with Irukandji syndrome who required parenteral opioid analgesia were randomised to receive either 10 mmol of magnesium as a bolus, and then a 5 mmol/h magnesium infusion for 6 h or saline. Fentanyl patient-controlled analgesia was commenced to allow patients to self-regulate their pain relief. The primary outcome measure of the study was comparison of total analgesic requirements between the two groups. The secondary outcome measure was to compare length of stay.
The study ran from November 2003 to May 2007. Thirty-nine patients were enrolled in the study; 26 were male with a median age of 28. Twenty-two received magnesium. There was no significant difference in the morphine equivalent dose used, peak CK, peak troponin, peak pulse, peak blood pressure, peak mean arterial pressure (MAP), percentage MAP rise and length of stay for those receiving magnesium compared with placebo.
Our study did not demonstrate a benefit in the use of magnesium in the treatment of Irukandji syndrome. As such the current use of magnesium needs to be reconsidered until there is good evidence to support its use.
Article: Marine envenomations.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This article describes the epidemiology and presentation of human envenomation from marine organisms. Venom pathophysiology, envenomation presentation, and treatment options are discussed for sea snake, stingray, spiny fish, jellyfish, octopus, cone snail, sea urchin, and sponge envenomation. The authors describe the management of common exposures that cause morbidity as well as the keys to recognition and treatment of life-threatening exposures.Emergency medicine clinics of North America 02/2014; 32(1):223-43. DOI:10.1016/j.emc.2013.09.009 · 0.96 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Irukandji stings are a leading occupational health and safety issue for marine industries in tropical Australia and an emerging problem elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific and Caribbean. Their mild initial sting frequently results in debilitating illness, involving signs of sympathetic excess including excruciating pain, sweating, nausea and vomiting, hypertension and a feeling of impending doom; some cases also experience acute heart failure and pulmonary oedema. These jellyfish are typically small and nearly invisible, and their infestations are generally mysterious, making them scary to the general public, irresistible to the media, and disastrous for tourism. Research into these fascinating species has been largely driven by the medical profession and focused on treatment. Biological and ecological information is surprisingly sparse, and is scattered through grey literature or buried in dispersed publications, hampering understanding. Given that long-term climate forecasts tend toward conditions favourable to jellyfish ecology, that long-term legal forecasts tend toward increasing duty-of-care obligations, and that bioprospecting opportunities exist in the powerful Irukandji toxins, there is a clear need for information to help inform global research and robust management solutions. We synthesise and contextualise available information on Irukandji taxonomy, phylogeny, reproduction, vision, behaviour, feeding, distribution, seasonality, toxins, and safety. Despite Australia dominating the research in this area, there are probably well over 25 species worldwide that cause the syndrome and it is an understudied problem in the developing world. Major gaps in knowledge are identified for future research: our lack of clarity on the socio-economic impacts, and our need for time series and spatial surveys of the species, make this field particularly enticing.Advances in Marine Biology 01/2013; 66:1-85. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-12-408096-6.00001-8 · 5.00 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Jellyfish envenomations are common amongst temperate coastal regions and vary in severity depending on the species. Stings result in a variety of symptoms and signs, including pain, dermatological reactions and, in some species, Irukandji syndrome (including abdominal/back/chest pain, tachycardia, hypertension, sweating, piloerection, agitation and sometimes cardiac complications). Many treatments have been suggested for the symptoms and signs of jellyfish stings. However, it is unclear which interventions are most effective. To determine the benefits and harms associated with the use of any intervention, in both adults and children, for the treatment of jellyfish stings, as assessed from randomised trials. We searched the following electronic databases in October 2012 and again in October 2013: the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL;The Cochrane Library, Issue 9, 2013); MEDLINE via Ovid SP (1948 to 22 October 2013); EMBASE via Ovid SP (1980 to 21 October 2013); and Web of Science (all databases; 1899 to 21 October 2013). We also searched reference lists from eligible studies and guidelines, conference proceedings and the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) and contacted content experts to identify trials. We included randomised controlled trials that compared any intervention(s) to active and/or non-active controls for the treatment of symptoms and signs of jellyfish sting envenomation. No language, publication date or publication status restrictions were applied. Two review authors independently conducted study selection and data extraction and assessed risk of bias using a standardised form. Disagreements were resolved by consensus with a third review author when necessary. We included seven trials with a total of 435 participants. Three trials focused on Physalia (Bluebottle) jellyfish, one trial on Carukia jellyfish and three on Carybdea alata (Hawaiian box) jellyfish. Two ongoing trials were identified.Six of the seven trials were judged as having high risk of bias. Blinding was not feasible in four of the included trials because of the nature of the interventions. A wide range of interventions were assessed across trials, and a wide range of outcomes were measured. We reported results from the two trials for which data were available and reported the effects of interventions according to our definition of primary or secondary outcomes.Hot water immersion was superior to ice packs in achieving clinically significant (at least 50%) pain relief at 10 minutes (one trial, 96 participants, risk ratio (RR) 1.66, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01 to 2.72; low-quality evidence) and 20 minutes (one trial, 88 participants, RR 2.66, 95% CI 1.71 to 4.15; low-quality evidence). No statistically significant differences between hot water immersion and ice packs were demonstrated for dermatological outcomes.Treatment with vinegar or Adolph's meat tenderizer compared with hot water made skin appear worse (one trial, 25 participants, RR 0.31, 95% CI 0.14 to 0.72; low-quality evidence).Adverse events due to treatment were not reported in any trial. This review located a small number of trials that assessed a variety of different interventions applied in different ways and in different settings. Although heat appears to be an effective treatment for Physalia (Bluebottle) stings, this evidence is based on a single trial of low-quality evidence. It is still unclear what type of application, temperature, duration of treatment and type of water (salt or fresh) constitute the most effective treatment. In addition, these results may not apply to other species of jellyfish with different envenomation characteristics. Future research should further assess the most effective interventions using standardised research methodology.Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 12/2013; 12(12):CD009688. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD009688.pub2 · 5.94 Impact Factor