First FDA Approved Scorpion Sting Antidote
Scenario: While playing an intense game of soccer outdoors, a scorpion crawls into your soccer bag and nestles in between your extra gear. At home, you unwittingly toss your soccer bag into the laundry room. The small scorpion crawls out of your bag, free to wander the house. Someone with their guard down inevitably steps on the scorpion and is stung! What do you do now?
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In the state of Arizona alone approximately 11,000 people are stung each year by the bark scorpion. Stings are generally not fatal but in the case of allergic reactions or incidents with infants, the scorpion sting can be fatal. The FDA has now approved the first scorpion sting antidote. On June 6, 2011, a six month old girl from Arizona was airlifted from the tiny town of Oracle to the university medical center in Tucson. The infant was vomiting, crying, and convulsing during the 36 mile trip to the hospital. She made a full recovery after spending five days in the hospital. In this case the infant was extraordinarily lucky to have been airlifted to a hospital that had the right medical attention to help the young victim. Now, an antidote will be at almost every hospital where people are at risk for scorpions stings.
Most stings to young healthy adults can be managed at home by administering first aid. However, a follow up visit to a hospital is recommended. Recommended home treatments are as follows:
- Clean the sting area thoroughly with soap and water.
- Apply an ice pack or other cold compress to the infected area.
- Elevate the infected area to the same elevation as the heart.
- For minor pain take over-the-counter pain relief medicine.
If a victim experiences severe pain and discomfort, or if the victim is a young child or elderly person, go to an emergency room immediately.
For additional information about bark scorpion stings, contact your local poison control center.