Journal article

Ant sting mortality in Australia

F McGain, KD Winkel

Toxicon | PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD | Published : 2002


We investigated ant sting related fatalities in Australia over the period 1980-1999. Data was obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and state coronial authorities. Six ant sting-related fatalities were identified, five in Tasmania and one in New South Wales. All were males aged between 40 and 80-years-of-age and most (5/6) had prior histories of jumper or bull ant (Myrmecia spp.) venom allergy. However, none of the deceased carried injectable adrenaline and most died within 20 min of a single sting. Significant cardiopulmonary co-morbidities were identified in all cases and, in addition, moderate-severe laryngeal oedema and coronary atherosclerosis was observed in most (4/6) case..

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