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Case Reports in Emergency Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 621815, 3 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/621815
Case Report

A Case of Palytoxin Poisoning in a Home Aquarium Enthusiast and His Family

Emergency Medicine Residency Program, Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, West Islip, NY 11795, USA

Received 14 August 2015; Accepted 4 October 2015

Academic Editor: Michael Sand

Copyright © 2015 Christine Hall et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Inhalational exposure to palytoxin is an extremely rare cause of respiratory distress. This little-known marine toxin has the potential to cause significant morbidity and mortality. Toxicity has been best documented in cases of ingestion but has also been seen in cases of dermal exposure and inhalation of vapors. Palytoxin has been found in several coral species, some of which are favored by home aquarium enthusiasts and are commercially available. We report a case of a family who were exposed to the aerosolized toxin following the cleaning of a coral in their home aquarium. It is important that clinicians be aware of this source of toxic exposure to provide necessary care to these patients.