31 January, 2009

Beware of Odontobuthus

Medical important scorpions in the Middle East are mainly found in the buthid genera Androctonus, Buthus and Leiurus and the hemiscorpiid genus Hemiscorpius. Razi & Malekanrad (2008) has recently reported about a serious case from Iran in a 12-year old boy caused by Odontobuthus doriae.

The boy was stung in a toe, and developed an acute asymmetric pulmonary edema (fluids in the lungs) after a few hours. Antivenom- and symptomatic treatment reduced the serious symptoms, and the boy was discharged from hospital after six days.

Acute pulmonary edema due to scorpion sting is common, but asymmetric pulmonary edema is very rare with few reported cases.

Based on the above case report, scorpions in the genus Odontobuthus should be treated as potential medical important (especially for children). Scorpions of the genus Odontobuthus are sold in the pet trade, and keepers should beware that this taxa may cause more serious symptoms than previously thought.

A 12-year-old boy was referred with acute asymmetric pulmonary edema (APE) four-hour after scorpion sting to Emergency department. On admission, the main clinical manifestations were: dyspnea, tachypnea, and tachycardia. Chest x-ray revealed APE predominantly on the right hemithorax. The patient was treated with oxygen, intravenous frusemide and digoxin and discharged on the sixth hospital day in a good condition. This case report emphasizes the occurrence of asymmetric pulmonary edema after severe scorpion envenomation within few hours immediately after the sting.

Razi E, Malekanrad E. Asymmetric pulmonary edema after scorpion sting: a case report. Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo. 2008 Nov-Dec;50(6):347-50. [Free fulltext]

Family Buthidae

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