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<< Bites and Stings Snakes, Spiders, and Scorpions in the United States

Scorpions: Treatment

Most victims of C. exilicauda scorpion bites can be managed solely with supportive care, such as local wound care, tetanus prophylaxis, opioids, benzodiazepines, airway support, ventilation, and supplemental oxygen administration. Due to hypersalivation and autonomic dysfunction, patients may suffer aspiration pneumonia. Airway support is critical. Antivenom should only be considered when there is severe somatic or cranial nerve dysfunction which is not well controlled by supportive measures. Fortunately, symptoms usually resolve in 12-48 hours. The utility of the antivenom in reversing the neurological symptoms must be weighed against the high incidence of delayed rash or serum sickness (58% in one series).6,94

Antivenom for C. exilicauda envenomation is produced from goat serum at Arizona State University and approved by the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy. The antivenom was prepared by lyophilizing, micron-filtered, hypersensitized goat serum and was produced every two to three years, as needed. This antivenom is not approved by the Federal Drug Administration and should not be transported across state lines. Its approved use has been limited to patients within the state of Arizona. However, as of November 2004, all production of the antivenom has stopped and all stockpiles have expired.88,90

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Last Modified: 08/17/2017
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