17 January, 2014

Fatal scorpion sting in child in Nigeria

Not easy to identify the involved scorpion in this fatal sting case.
Oyedeji and co-workers have recently published a fatal scorpion sting case involving a child from Nigeria. Reports of scorpion stings in Nigeria in literature are rare, this is probably one of the first documented fatal cases involving scorpions in Nigeria.

The involved species is not identified (but a color picture of a crushed scorpion is included in the article). Based on the distribution list in Scorpiones.pl, buthid genera Babycurus, Buthacus, Butheloides, Hottentotta and Uroplectes are represented in Nigeria. Hottentotta is considered medical significant in North Africa, but the other genera are generally not considered dangerous. But with small children, many buthid species can cause more serious symptoms than those observed in adult victims.The scorpion fauna of Nigeria is not well known, so it is possible that other potent genera and/or species also are present in this country.

NB! After publishing this post, I got a suggestion from Dr. Rolando Teruel that this scorpion may be Hottentotta hottentotta, a species reported from Nigeria.

Fatal scorpion stings are rare in Nigeria. Hitherto, there has been no report from Nigeria of death following scorpion  stings. This report is that of a 2-year-old boy who was stung by a scorpion while playing outside his home environment in  Osogbo, South West Nigeria. He subsequently presented to the Children Emergency Unit of Ladoke Akintola University  of Technology Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, in pain and with features of shock. He died within 2 h of admission despite all  treatment given to relieve pain and manage shock. The case is reported in order to share the important lessons learned.

Oyedeji OA, Musa TL, Adebami OJ, Oyedeji GA. Fatal scorpion sting in a child. Niger J Clin Pract. 2014 Jan-Feb;17(1):112-4. [Free full text]

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