Officials: Boy stabbed by catfish spikes, hospitalized

A boy was hospitalized after being stabbed in the chest by a catfish barb, authorities said.

The boy was injured during a family fishing trip in New Port Richey, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) northwest of Tampa, authorities said.

While being taken to the hospital, the boy experienced difficulty breathing and the boy’s mother stopped to call for help, the Pasco County Fire Department said Monday. Firefighters responded and evaluated the catfish barb lodged more than an inch (2.5 centimeters) in the boy’s chest, authorities said in a news release.

The boy was airlifted to a Tampa hospital as a trauma alert. Officials did not release an updated condition Tuesday or release any other information, including the boy’s age.

Catfish have spikes or spines on their dorsal and pectoral fins. The spines contain a poison that can cause swelling around puncture wounds.

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