04 December, 2009

A sting in the balls

Androctonus crassicauda is one of the most medical important scorpions in the Middle East and have caused deaths in several countries, including Iran. Getting stung by this species is not recommended.

Because of this I got a bad feeling when a paper with the following title popped up in my screen: "Scrotum injury by scorpion sting"!

It is Dehghani & Khamechian at the School of Medicine in Kashan, Iran that report about a 38 year old man that got stung in his scrotum (balls) by a A. crassicauda hiding in his trousers when he took them on. This could be the start of a real horror story, but surprisingly the symptoms were quite mild (for A. crassicauda) and the patient did not get any nasty effects from the sting after being treated.

Most scorpion stings are associated with hands and legs, but some unusual sting sites have also been reported previously (e.g. two cases of penis stings by Tityus). Checking your clothes in the morning when you are in a scorpion area should be quite obvious after reading this!

The paper also present a short review on scorpionism in Iran.

Androctonus crassicauda is the second most frequent causes of scorpion sting in south-west Iran. Its venom can cause sever pain, autonomic, central nervous system (CNS), muscle function disturbances, and death. Appropriate medical and nursing cares can lead to complete recovery with no sequel .The majority of scorpion stings are oligosymptomatic, occurring mainly on the hands and feet (about 90%). Here one rare case of a scorpion sting on the scrotum is reported from Kashan, central Iran.

Dehghani R, Khamehchian T. Scrotum Injury by Scorpion Sting. Iran J Arthropod-Borne Dis. 2008;2(1):49-52. [Free fulltext]

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