How to treat a scorpion sting

A scorpion belongs to the Arachnida class and are related to ticks, mites and spiders. Scorpions have 8 legs, 2 pinchers and an elongated body. The tail have segments of varying length that ranges from 9 to 20 cm. The last segment contains the stinger which transmits toxin to the bitten area.

Bark scorpions are the most poisonous and dangerous type especially to infants, young children and the elderly. They hide in trees or under the rocks and come out during night time.

Symptoms of scorpion sting

scorpion-sting

Apply a cold pack on the affected area to reduce the spread of venom, lessen the swelling and numb the pain.

  • Slight redness of the affected area
  • Involuntary urination or excretion or bowel movement
  • Vomiting, sweating, foaming at the mouth and drooling
  • Difficulty breathing, speaking and swallowing
  • Fast or irregular heart beats
  • Thrashing or twitching of muscles and involuntary neck, head or eye movements and difficulty walking.
  • Severe swelling due to allergic reaction
  • Burning, painful and tingling sensation at the affected area
  • Tongue becomes thick
  • Anaphylaxis

Treatment

  • Wash the affected area using soap and water. Remove clothing around the area, to wash away any residual venom and lessen the risk of developing infections.
  • Remove any jewelry worn if any at the scorpion bite site since the swelling of the area result to problems with circulation. Keep the affected person still and calm to prevent the spread of the venom.
  • Keep the injured area still and below the level of the heart and minimize movement to avoid rapid heart beating that result to the fast spread of venom to other areas.
  • Apply a cold pack on the affected area to reduce the spread of venom, lessen the swelling and numb the pain. Apply the cold pack on the bitten area for at least 10-15 minutes at a time within 2 hours after the injury. If there are problems with circulation, apply for only 5 minutes at a time to prevent further damage and worsen the condition.
  • Take over-the-counter pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen to lessen the pain and discomfort.
  • If there is difficulty swallowing, avoid eating any foods or drinks.
  • If a secondary infection develops, take the prescribed antibiotics.

Tips

  • Mow the lawn and grass regularly and prune bushes and overhanging branches to prevent access of scorpion to the roof.
  • Keep the house clean to eliminate boards, trash, logs, bricks and other material which can be used by scorpions as hiding places.
  • If hiking, wear long sleeves, pants and shoes.
  • Sleep under a mosquito net if staying in a foreign country.
  • Always carry an EpiPen or an epinephrine injector, if allergic to stings of insects.

Disclaimer / More Information

The material posted on this page on a scorpion sting is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage insect bites and stings by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.

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