04 January, 2017

Scorpionism in the world - A new systematic review

Happy New Year!

Maria Santos and co-workers recently published a systematic review on the clinical and epidemiological aspects of scorpion envenomations around the world. Scorpionism is an important health problem around the world and especially in some regions with higher incidents and more severe envenomations.Because of this, the present paper is an important contribution to the knowledge of scorpionism.


Scorpion stings are registered worldwide, but the incidence and the features of the envenomations vary depending on the region. The aim of this review was to summarize the epidemiological, clinical, diagnostic, and therapeutic data worldwide regarding humans stung by scorpions.


A systematic review of the literature was conducted through the online databases of the Virtual Health Library (VHL), which hosts Medline and the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Informational (LILACS) database. We selected articles published between January 1, 2002 and July 31, 2014.


Scorpion envenomation reports were found throughout the world, mainly in subtropical and tropical regions. The clinical manifestations were sympathetically and parasympathetically mediated, depending on the species of scorpion. Some of the most common severe complications of scorpionism included respiratory distress syndrome, pulmonary edema, cardiac dysfunction, impaired hemostasis, pancreatitis, and multiple organ failure. Scorpion envenomation could be classified as mild, moderate, and severe, and the therapeutic approach was based on the case severity. The treatment comprised 3 components: symptomatic measures, vital functions support, and injection of antivenom. Moreover, the time that elapsed between the sting and administration of the appropriate medical care was extremely important to the patient’s prognosis.


The large number of scorpion stings worldwide is concerning and reaffirms the need for new prevention measures and policies to reduce the incidence, prevalence, morbidity, and mortality rates from these poisonous arachnids.

Santos MS, Silva CG, Neto BS, Grangeiro Junior CR, Lopes VH, Teixeira Junior AG, et al. Clinical and Epidemiological Aspects of Scorpionism in the World: A Systematic Review. Wilderness Environ Med. 2016;27(4):504-18. [Subscription required for full text]

1 comment:

Gérard Dupre said...

Very bad paper with many errors in the names of the species!!!!!