What is the prognosis of scorpion envenomation?

Updated: Nov 09, 2018
  • Author: David Cheng, MD; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Answer

Prognosis is dependent on many factors, including species of scorpion, patient health, and access to medical care. Most patients recover fully after scorpion envenomation.

Symptoms generally persist for 10-48 hours. If the victim survives the first few hours without severe cardiorespiratory or neurologic symptoms, the prognosis is usually good. Furthermore, surviving the first 24 hours after a scorpion sting also carries a good prognosis.

A worse prognosis can be expected with the presence of systemic symptoms such as cardiovascular collapse, respiratory failure, seizures, and coma. Specifically, the following were associated with poor outcomes: Glasgow Coma Score less than 8 (odds ratio [OR], 9.87) and pulmonary edema (OR, 8.46). [16]

In children, the following factors were associated with a higher mortality: metabolic acidosis, tachypnea, myocarditis, pulmonary edema, encephalopathy, and priapism. [17]


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