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Scorpion Sting

Scorpion Sting Overview

Scorpions are a member of the Arachnida class and are closely related to spiders, ticks, and mites. Scorpions have two pincers, 8 legs and an elongated body with a tail composed of segments; they range in length from about 9 to 21 cm. Some species are smaller, more translucent, and harder to see. They may appear as a thin string on the ground. The last tail segment contains the stinger (also termed a telson) that transmits a toxin to the recipient of a sting. Most scorpions are harmless. Although about 2000 species exist, only about 25-40 species can deliver enough venom to cause serious or lethal damage to humans. One of the more venomous or potentially dangerous species, especially for infants, young children, and the elderly in the United States is Centruroides exilicauda or bark scorpion. Contact with scorpions is usually accidental. Scorpion stings are painful, and they can be fatal, particularly to children. Scorpions may sting more than once; the stinger, located at the end of the tail segment is usually not lost or left in the person's tissue after a sting.

Scorpions come in a variety of colors - from tan to light brown to black. Each has a long tail segment that contains a stinger. Scorpions are found in highest numbers across the southern United States and in arid or desert regions in most other countries. However, they can be found occasionally in most US states and in temperate regions of both South America and Africa and some even reside in cold climates. Scorpions hunt at night and hide along rocks or trees during the days. Homes built in arid or desert regions commonly have scorpions in them. In 2015, there were reports of airline passenger(s) being stung in flight. The planes were landed before reaching their destinations to rid the aircraft of the scorpion(s).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/13/2015

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Scorpion Sting Antidote

FDA Approves First Scorpion Sting Antidote

"Once stung, twice shy" are words to live by in the Southwestern United States, where about 11,000 people a year are stung by scorpions in Arizona alone.

Though rarely life threatening, scorpion stings can be extremely painful, causing numbness and burning at the wound site. And there's been little a victim could do to ease the pain.

Until now.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the first treatment specifically for the sting of the Centruroides scorpion, the most common type in the United States.

The new biologic treatment - called Anascorp - was given a priority review because adequate treatment did not exist in the United States, says Karen Midthun, M.D., director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

"This product provides a new treatment for children and adults and is designed specifically for scorpion stings," Midthun says. "Scorpion stings can be life-threatening, especially in infants and children."

Severe stings can cause loss of muscle control and difficulty breathing, requiring heavy sedation and intensive care in a hospital.

SOURCE: FDA Approves First Scorpion Sting Antidote.

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