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Vietnam doctors save Russian injured by needlefish spike
By H.Vien - H.Luong - Thanh Nien News -

Kalinina Oxana, a Russian tourist, receives treatment at a hospital in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa, after she was paralyzed by a spinal cord injury caused by a needlefish / PHOTO COURTESY OF TUOI TRE

Broken pieces of a needlefish beak that doctors took out of a neck wound when they performed a surgery on Kalinina Oxana


Doctors have saved the life of a Russian woman who was left paralyzed after being attacked by a needlefish while she was swimming in Vietnam's resort beach town of Nha Trang.
Kalinina Oxana, 44, suffered severe neck and spinal cord injuries in the waters off Hon Chong, an island off Nha Trang in Khanh Hoa Province, and was hospitalized on Sunday.
She could not move her limbs or urinate after the incident.
After a seven-and-half-hour operation at Khanh Hoa General Hospital on Tuesday, the tourist has recovered feeling in her limbs and the ability to make slight movements with her limbs, according to the news report.
She will have to undergo another surgery before her condition stabilizes, it said.
During the last operation, doctors recovered numerous pieces of fish bone and teeth still lodged in the patient’s neck.
Experts from the Nha Trang Institute of Oceanography later confirmed that the bone and teeth were those of needlefish.
According to Khanh Hoa General Hospital, doctors here last December also saved the life of a local fisherman whose throat had been pierced by a needlefish while he was fishing at sea.
Before the fish was identified, some local fishermen had suspected that the tourist could have been attacked by sharks.
Some fishermen reported last month that since the beginning of this year they had caught dozens of baby sharks, in Van Phong Bay, some 30 kilometers east of Nha Trang.
After studying photos of the sharks,  Van Quang with the Nha Trang Institute of Oceanography told Thanh Nien that they could be grey reef sharks (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) and bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas), which account for more than 5 percent of worldwide shark attacks on humans.

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