A tourist in Itanhaém, São Paulo found herself in extreme pain after a catfish latched onto her left arm as she was swimming in Brazil’s Boca da Barra on Saturday.
A video sent by an onlooker to daily Globo showed a woman slipping in and out of consciousness as the spines of a catfish is stuck on her left forearm.
“She cried a lot and told the lifeguards to take the fish away because it hurts so much,” said Cristian Fernandes, the owner of the video.
Lifeguards couldn’t remove the sting from the victim’s body, as the procedure can only be completed by a qualified physician.
“The pain of a catfish’s sting is similar to that of a saw or an arrowhead. You never know if it hit an artery or a vein and pulling it out can cause more pain or further damage to the body,” a spokesperson from local maritime security said.
The victim was taken to the city’s Emergency Care Unit (UPA).
Another tourist was also impaled by a catfish on her belly on Friday, again in Itanhaém but on a different beach, Praião. Authorities were surprised when they saw the woman bleeding from the sting.
“We usually deal with people who stepped on a catfish or a finger cut from touching the spines, but I’ve never seen a catfish stuck to someone’s stomach. It was definitely a first,” said Marcelo Tamada, an officer of the Mobile Emergency Service (SAMU).
The victim had to undergo microsurgery to remove the stings but is now in a stable condition.
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