Couple brain dead after eating fish

Staff report improvement in man's medical condition, hope both will regain consciousness by Monday.

blowfish 248.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
blowfish 248.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
There was an improvement in the medical condition of a man and woman from Kiryat Yam who were brain dead after apparently eating a poisonous fish, Israel Radio reported on Sunday evening. The man began breathing independently and staff at Haifa's Rambam Hospital reportedly expressed hope that the couple would regain consciousness by Monday. The assumption was that the fish which poisoned the couple so severely was a blowfish, but hospital officials could not be sure. On Saturday evening, the two, aged 47 and 48, called an ambulance complaining of serious stomach aches. On the way to the hospital, the wife lost consciousness, stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest. The husband's condition also deteriorated as he arrived in the hospital. The blowfish is edible but many parts of it, especially the liver and other internal organs but also the skin, are extremely poisonous. A physician at the hospital said there was no antidote for the poison, the only treatment being an iron lung and constant monitoring. Called fugu in Japanese, it is considered a delicacy; however the blowfish is the second most poisonous vertebrate in nature.