Child Airlifted to Hospital After Being Stabbed in Chest by Catfish While Fishing in Florida Pond

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What was supposed to be a fun day fishing in a pond turned into a freak situation for the child and their family.

A child had to be airlifted to a hospital in Florida after being stabbed in the chest by a catfish barb while fishing in a pond just north of Tampa, NBC News reported.

The child, whose name, age and gender, were not released by officials, experienced difficulty breathing after being stabbed Monday in New Port Richey, according to NBC News.

The Pasco Fire Department updated the child’s condition via Twitter as the incident unfolded and included video of the helicopter taking them to the hospital.

The Pasco Fire Department said that “while headed to the hospital with their mother, the child experienced difficulty breathing and pulled over on US-19 to call for help.”

The fire department added that once the mother called 911, “Firefighters responded to the area and listed the child as a trauma alert after evaluating the catfish barb.”

The catfish’s stinger entered 1 to 1.5 inches into the chest cavity, causing the child to experience shortness of breath, the Pasco Fire Department posted.

The child has been listed in stable condition at the hospital, according to Click Orlando.

“You hear of fisherman that might be cut by a barb or hit in the back of the leg and get an infection, but never heard of one penetrating the chest,” Pasco County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Corey Deirdorff told WTSP.

Catfish barbs are the spines on their bodies and can puncture humans or other creatures they believe are threats. The barbs contain a venom-like substance that can cause swelling or infection to threats including humans once in contact, according to a University of Michigan study.

“Catfish venom glands are found alongside sharp, bony spines on the edges of the dorsal and pectoral fins, and these spines can be locked into place when the catfish is threatened. When a spine jabs a potential predator, the membrane surrounding the venom gland cells is torn, releasing venom into the wound,” the study read. “Catfish venoms poison nerves and break down red blood cells, producing such effects as severe pain, reduced blood flow, muscle spasms and respiratory distress. However, because none of the species he examined produces more than three distinct toxins in its venom, each species probably displays only a subset of the whole repertoire of effects.”

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