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What to do in case of a scorpion sting

Scorpion bites most often cause few symptoms, such as redness, swelling and pain in there area you were bitten. However, in some cases it may cause very severe symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headache, muscle spasms, and blood pressure drop, and there may even be a risk of death.

In case of a scorpion bite, the first aid that should be done is:

  1. Wash the region of the bite with soap and water;
  2. Keep the sting region facing up;
  3. Do not cut, pierce or tighten the location of the bite;
  4. Drink plenty of water;
  5. Go to an emergency room as soon as possible or call SAMU 192.

The most dangerous types of scorpions are yellow, brown, yellow scorpion of the northeast and black scorpion of the Amazon, but the severity of the bite also depends on the amount of poison that was released and the immunity of each person.

What to do in case of a scorpion sting

Main symptoms of a Scorpion sting

In most cases the symptoms of a scorpion sting are pain and inflammation, with redness, swelling and warmth in the area of the bite, which can last from a few hours to 2 days, although sometimes more serious symptoms may occur, such as:

  • Nauseation and vomiting;
  • Dizziness;
  • Headache;
  • Tremor and muscle spasms;
  • Sweat;
  • Pallor;
  • Drowsiness or agitation
  • Low or high pressure;
  • Accelerated or weak heartbeats;
  • Shortness of breath.

In very rare cases, scorpion stings can even cause arrhythmias and cardiac arrest, which can lead to death if the person is not promptly treated.


To relieve pain and inflammation in the region of the sting, it is recommended you to apply compresses with warm water, and the use of analgesics or anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Dipyrone or Ibuprofen, for example, prescribed by the doctor.

In patients with more severe symptoms, it may be necessary to use an anti-corticosteroid serum, prescribed by the doctor, which can cut the effect of the venom in the body. In these cases, you will need to stay in observation for a few hours until the symptoms disappear, while you are there you will receive intravenous saline solution to maintain yourself hydrated. 

What to do in case of a scorpion sting

How to identify the type of Scorpion

The best way to know if the type of scorpion that stung you is very poisonous is if possible to catch and take the animal to be identified at the emergency room.

You may die from a scorpion sting, although the likelihood of this happening is low. There are about 1,500 species of scorpion in the world, and only 30 of these produce venom toxic enough to be fatal. In the United States, the only venomous scorpion that exists, is the bark scorpion. The Arizona bark Scorpion is small in size, about 2 to 3 inches long and light brown in color, and resides in arid and semi-arid regions.

Scorpions belong to the arachnid family and are considered predatory creatures. They have eight legs and can be recognized by their pair of grasping pedipalps, which resemble pinchers, and their narrow, segmented tail. This tail is often carried in a forward curve over a scorpion’s back and ends with a stinger.

How to avoid a Scorpion sting

To prevent scorpion stings, it is recommended you follow some cautions at home, such as:

  • Keeping the house clean by removing accumulations of dirt behind furniture, curtains and carpets;
  • Clean the yard or garden to avoid accumulation of debris and litter in these places;
  • Avoid walking barefoot or putting your hands in holes or cracks;
  • Keep animals like chickens, owls, geese or frogs in the yard, as they are predators of scorpions;
  • Inspect clothing and footwear before using them.

Cleaning is important because dirty places with cockroach infestations and rats, for example, attract venomous animals like scorpions, spiders and snakes more easily. Learn what to do in spider bites situations.

How to capture or kill scorpions

The scorpion is a very difficult animal to kill, because it is quite resistant to poisons. This is because it is an animal that can close its pulmonary stigmas, not inhaling the poison. In addition, it is able to stay stationary for long periods of time, not coming in contact with the poison.

So if you see a scorpion, it is best to call the authorities, so that it is captured and taken to a specific location. If you need to capture the scorpion at home you should:

  • Wear pants and long sleeve shirts;
  • Wear thick rubber boots;
  • Wear heavy protective gloves, such as those used by electricians;
  • Wear a hat;
  • Pick the scorpion up with a forceps of at least 20 cm;
  • Hold the scorpion by the tail and place it inside a plastic container;
  • Close the container with a screw cap, preferably with small holes.

However, it is always worth remembering that the scorpion should, whenever possible, be captured by a trained professional, so that no accidents happen.

Captured scorpions should be delivered to the authorities primarily alive, not only to avoid the occurrence of a bite, but also to allow them to be used for the creation of antidotes.

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