Scorpions are arachnids that feed on ground-dwelling arthropods and small lizards. They paralyze their prey and defend themselves by injecting venom from a stinger on the tip of the tail.
Scorpions are nocturnal and remain hidden during the day in crevices or burrows or underwood, loose bark, or rocks. They occasionally enter houses and tents and may hide in shoes, clothing, or bedding.
Scorpions sting humans only when threatened.
Management of scorpion bite
Identification of the offending scorpion helps to determine the course of treatment. Painful but relatively harmless scorpion stings need to be distinguished from the potentially lethal envenomation’s that are produced by ~30 of the ~1000 known species and that cause more than 5000 deaths worldwide each year.
Aggressive supportive care and judicious use of antivenom can reduce or eliminate deaths from more severe envenomations. Keeping the patient calm and applying pressure dressings and cold packs to the sting site are measures that decrease the absorption of venom.
Although effective, cost analyses suggest that antivenoms should be reserved for only the most severe envenomations.
|Country||Common species||Presentation (Envenomation)|
|Unites States||Centruroides sculpturatus (C. exilicauda)||Neurotoxicity-a) A little swelling, but prominent pain, paresthesia, and hyperesthesia.
(Tap test- These symptoms can be accentuated by tapping on the affected area. )
b) Cranial nerve dysfunction
c) Hyperexcitability of skeletal muscles
d) Restlessness, blurred vision, abnormal eye movements, profuse salivation, lacrimation, rhinorrhea, slurred speech, difficulty in handling secretions, diaphoresis, nausea, and vomiting.
e) Fatal respiratory arrest
|· Middle East and North America
|· Leiurus quinquestriatus
· Mesobuthus tamulus
· Tityus serrulatus
|Hypertensive Crises-(massive release of endogenous catecholamines )
c) Pulmonary edema
d) Myocardial damage.
|Iran||Hemiscorpius lepturus.||Tissue necrosis and hemolysis|
|Trinidad||Tityus trinitatis||Acute pancreatitis|
|——————||Nonpoisonous species||Immediate sharp local pain followed by edema, ecchymosis, and a burning sensation.|
|Nonpoisonous bite (Local site management)||Ice packs, analgesics, or antihistamines.
Because most victims experience only local discomfort, they can be managed at home with instructions to return to the emergency department if signs of cranial-nerve or neuromuscular dysfunction develop.
IV administration of antivenom rapidly reverses cranial-nerve dysfunction and muscular symptoms.
|Neurotoxicity||Close monitoring and aggressive supportive care.A continuous IV infusion of midazolam controls the agitation, flailing, and involuntary muscle movements produced by scorpion stings|