2010 Volume 59 Issue 1 Pages 19-22
Stonefish is a dangerous and venomous fish commonly found in the shallow waters of the Pacific region. Its envenomation is reported worldwide with increasing frequency. Although envenomation usually occurs in those engaged in marine sports, chefs may suffer envenomation during cutting stonefish, which is eaten either sliced raw, boiled, or deep-fried by Japanese. Since many people cook and eat Japanese food, it is important to know that cutting a stonefish for cooking carries the risk of envenomation. However, most primary and emergency physicians have not encountered cases of envenomation during food preparation. Here we describe a case of envenomation occurring while cooking. The patient was a healthy 33-year-old man working as a chef in a Japanese restaurant. He was presented to an academic emergency department after suddenly developing severe pain in his right fourth finger while cutting a stonefish. The finger was reddish, swollen, and tender. The pain reduced after immersing his hand in hot water, and disappeared within 18 h without any complication. In this report, we describe the history of stonefish envenomation and provide a brief review of the literature related to this form of envenomation.