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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bites and Stings – Scorpion

Scorpions are all poisonous to a greater or lesser degree. There are many species of scorpions found in Arizona but only one is potentially lethal. This is the bark scorpion. It is one of the smaller species being one to one and a half inches long. It prefers places dark and cool, wood piles, palm trees, decorative bark. The severity of the sting depends on the amount of venom injected but scorpion stings can be fatal. Ninety percent of all scorpion stings occur on the hands.

The lethal scorpion is very slender and streamlined. It is straw-colored or nearly opaque, small, less than two inches long.

What are Reactions or Symptoms?

There are two different reactions, depending on the species:

  • In mild case, severe local reaction only, with pain and swelling around the area of the sting. Possible prickly sensation around the mouth and a thick-feeling tongue.
  • In severe case, Severe systemic reaction. with little or no visible local reaction. Death is rare, occurring mainly in children and adults with high blood pressure or illnesses.Local pain may be present.
    • Body as a whole: muscular spasms, convulsions, urinary incontinence, urine output, decreased, excessive salivation (drooling), random movements of head, eye, and/or neck
    • respiratory: rapid breathing, difficulty breathing, stop breathing
    • eyes, ears, nose, and throat: tongue feels thicker, spasm of the larynx (voice box), double vision, blindness, involuntary rapid movement of the eyeballs
    • gastrointestinal: abdominal cramps, Inflammation of the pancreas, fecal incontinence, involuntary urination and defecation
    • heart and blood vessels: high blood pressure, increased or decreased heart rate, irregular heartbeat
    • nervous system: restlessness, tense, seizures, paralysis

Death rarely occurs in patients older than 6 years. If symptoms rapidly become worse within the first 2-4 hours after the sting, a poor outcome is more likely. Symptoms usually last 24-48 hours. Some deaths have occurred as late as 4 days after the sting

What should I do when got stung by those creature?

These following informations are for home treatments or first aids before you go to the hospital:

  1. Apply ice to relieve the pain of the sting Place ice (wrapped in a washcloth or other suitable covering) on the site of the sting for 10 minutes and then off for 10 minutes. Repeat this process. Immobilize the affected limb. If patient has circulatory problems, decrease the time to prevent possible damage to the skin.
  2. Be sure the victim's airway stays clear
  3. Keep the patient still.
  4. Transport to a hospital. A specific antivenom is available.

Treat scorpion stings as you would a black widow bite. If you call emergency institutions or poison control you may determine the following information before call them:

  • the patient's age, weight, and condition
  • identification of the insect if possible
  • the time stung

They will instruct you if it is necessary to take the patient to the hospital. See Poison Control centers for telephone numbers and addresses. If possible, bring the scorpion to the emergency room for identification.

What to expect at the emergency room?

Some or all of the following procedures may be performed:

  • Give an antiserum (only in the most severe cases)
  • Open and maintain the airway if needed
  • Treat the symptoms

1 comment:

NewsBlaze said...

Thanks, great information. Heres a story about the little monsters in Iraq. Imagine waking up with one of these in your bed!
Snake Bites and Scorpion Stings