Lethal Brain Edema, Shock, and Coagulopathy After Scorpion Envenomation

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Soroka University Medical Center and the Faculty of Health Sciences at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel.
Wilderness and Environmental Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.2). 12/2012; 24(1). DOI: 10.1016/j.wem.2012.09.009
Source: PubMed


We report the case of a 2-year-old Bedouin boy in whom developed severe and unusual complications after being stung, most probably, by the yellow scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus. Five hours after arrival to the emergency department, the boy had multisystem organ failure involving the central nervous system (seizure activity followed by coma with dilated, nonreactive pupils, and severe brain edema), shock (noncardiogenic), disseminated intravascular coagulation, renal failure, hepatic failure, and watery diarrhea, causing his death. In view of the relevant literature, we discuss the pathophysiologic events ultimately leading to his death.

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    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Annales Francaises de Medecine d'Urgence
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    ABSTRACT: In recent years, stings of a lethal scorpion species were recorded from Jaffna Peninsula in the northern dry zone of Sri Lanka. This species was identified as Hottentotta tamulus (Scorpiones: Buthidae) which is the Indian red scorpion commonly found in Maharashtra, India. The Teaching Hospital, Jaffna recorded 84 H. tamulus stings over a year in 2012 and of them, 23 cases provided offending scorpions (proven cases). Three localities in Jaffna were recorded as hotspots of scorpion stings namely Palali, Achchuvali and Karainagar. Of the proven cases, 13 (57%) and 10 (43%) were males and females respectively and had a mean age of 30 years (SD ± 20 years). Among them, 5 (22%) were children below 12 years. In 13 (57%) patients stings occurred inside their houses including two children (40%). Six (26%) stings occurred at night when the victims were in sleep. Median time taken to arrive at the hospital from the time of stinging was 58 min (range 8–550 min). Signs of over activation of autonomic nervous system predominated the clinical picture-tachycardia in 14 (61%), high blood pressure in 11 (48%), excessive sweating in 9 (39%), excessive salivation in 5 (22%), hypotension in 4 (17%) and piloerection in 3 (13%). Children showed higher predilection to develop tachycardia – 4 (80%) and excessive salivation – 3 (60%). Priapism was not observed and 17 (74%) patients have developed intense pain at the site of sting. The commonest ECG change was tachycardia (73%) and occasional T wave inversion. Prazosin as a treatment was given to 22 (96%) patients. All patients made recovery and 13 (57%) patients left the hospital within two days. In future, there is a potential risk of spreading this species to elsewhere in the country and may disturb the ecological balance.
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