Clinical and Laboratory Characteristics of Pediatric Scorpion Stings: A Report From Southern Iran

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Abstract

Objective

Scorpion stings are a major public health problem in many countries, particularly in pediatrics. Children are more susceptible to severe clinical manifestations of envenomation. The aim of this study is to determine the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of pediatric scorpionism in Hormozgan province of Iran during 2012.

Method

This was a cross-sectional study being conducted during 2010 in Hormozgan, the southern province of Iran. We included 350 patients admitted to emergency unit of the hospitals of 8 cities of Hormozgan with impression of scorpion envenomation. The clinical and epidemiological characteristics as well as the treatment and outcome were recorded.

Results

The prevalence rate of pediatric scorpion stings in the province was 1.8 in 1000 children. The mean age of the patients was 5.75 ± 4.54 (range, 1–18) years. There were 208 (59.5%) boys and 142 (40.5%) girls among the patients. The most common site of sting was sole to knee in 94 (26.8%) followed by hand in 61 (17.4%) and fingers in 47 (13.4%). The most common presenting symptom was vomiting in 236 (67.4%) followed by localized pain in 131 (37.3%), erythema in 120 (34.2%), and edema in 119 (33.9%). The highest and lowest frequency occurred in July (17.7%) and January (3.2%), respectively. Nocturnal envenomations (53.7%) were more common than diurnal (46.3%). Most of scorpionism were mild (83.4%) that all evolved to cure, without any deaths.

Conclusions

The results demonstrate the pediatric scorpionism is a public health problem in Hormozgan province of Iran, and special attention should be paid to prevention and treatment.

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