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Ratfish (Chimaera) spine injuries in fishermen
Hayes, A.J.; Sim, A.J.W. (2011). Ratfish (Chimaera) spine injuries in fishermen. Scott. Med. J. 56(3): 161-163.
In: Scottish Medical Journal. Royal Society of Medicine: Edinburgh. ISSN 0036-9330, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Chimaera Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Atlantic ocean, fishes, questionnaires, spine, wounds, injuries

Authors  Top 
  • Hayes, A.J.
  • Sim, A.J.W.

    An occupational hazard peculiar to fishermen, is an injury from a sharp fish spine. Such spines can cause envenomation injury, infectious sequelae or trauma to anatomical structures. The management of two fishermen with penetrating ratfish (Chimaera) spine injuries to the lower limb is described. Both were managed by removal of the spine under general anaesthesia. In the second patient, the spine was embedded adjacent to the left femoral artery, highlighting the potential for major haemorrhage and supporting the use of surgical wound exploration when important structures may be involved. Herein, we describe the first report in English of Chimaera spine injury. In addition, we surveyed nine northeast Atlantic deep-sea fishermen to gain information on exposure to, and injuries from, this type of fish. The most commonly identified species was Chimaera monstrosa. Five fishermen reported injuries to their feet or hands from Chimaera spines and two had sought medical attention. The evidence indicates that deep-sea trawler fishermen of the northeast Atlantic frequently encounter Chimaera species and can suffer dangerous penetrating wounds from its dorsal spine.

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