This year, for the first time in my career, I have had three adult patients seek hospital treatment for significant scorpion bite symptoms affecting their bodies more generally, including generalized tingling and numbness.
This is very unusual to me, and suggests that the potency of neurotoxin in the current scorpions in Scottsdale is greater than in past years.
Typical symptoms of scorpion sting consist of pain as the site of the sting as well and numbness and tingling in the affected limb. These are by far the most common symptoms. This is considered a Grade I level of symptoms and requires only Ibuprofen or painkillers for pain relief and a tetanus shot if not had within 10 year (this can wait a few days until given).
Grade II symptoms include the above as well as generalized numbness and tingling. These can occur within minutes to a few hours and can last several hours. Treatment is the same as above and many patients will seek hospital attention for these generalized symptoms. This is reasonable to do, but care is once again supportive and no additional medications are given. Monitoring of the patient over the next several hours is the key Emergency Room treatment to make sure symptoms do not progress.
Grade III and IV symptoms are much more dramatic and include: blurred vision, trouble swallowing, excessive salivation, fever, trouble breathing. If these develop it is a critical emergency and 911 needs to be summoned. I’ve never seen this in my career, but it is important to be aware.
Remember, nobody has died from a scorpion sting in Arizona since 1968, so that is some comfort….but do be aware that scorpion stings are more potent currently.