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Treat Scorpion Stings in the Wilderness

There are many kinds of scorpions, but only one kind - centruroides - administer a potentially lethal sting.

Steps:

1. Find out in advance if the wilderness area you are visiting is likely to be populated by centruroides (the only dangerous kind of scorpion). These are usually found in New Mexico, Arizona, Southern Utah and Mexico.
2. Exercise caution when stepping or reaching into places where scorpions are likely to be: dark places like wood piles, underneath rocks, inside shoes, or roaming the ground after dark.
3. Look for the signs and symptoms of a scorpion sting: burning pain, swelling or numbness at the site of the sting.
4. Clean the sting with an antiseptic cleanser.
5. Apply an ice pack to the site of the sting.
6. Immobilize the extremity which was stung until you can establish whether the sting has produced severe poisoning. Keep the extremity immobilized if an evacuation is necessary.
7. Administer an antihistamine such as Benadryl to reduce swelling and itching
8. Monitor the injured person for signs and symptoms of severe poisoning: muscle spasms, convulsions, impaired vision or speech, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, impaired circulation. If any of these symptoms are present, evacuate immediately to a hospital to receive an antivenin
9. Evacuate immediately if the person stung is a child or elderly person, or if you suspect the sting was from a centruroide.

Overall warnings:

  • This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.


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