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Toxicon. 2007 Dec 1;50(7):984-92. Epub 2007 Aug 6.

An epidemiological and a clinical study on scorpionism by the Iranian scorpion Hemiscorpius lepturus.

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Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran.


The aim of this retrospective descriptive study was to describe the epidemiological and some common clinical symptoms and signs among humans stung by Hemiscorpius lepturus (H. lepturus) in the southwest province of Iran, Khuzestan. Cases were collected from hospital patients' files referred to two major Khuzestan hospitals over 5 years. Only definite stings of this species, identified by trained health-caring personnel, were included in this study. Epidemiological and clinical signs and symptoms were recorded. There were 354 scorpion victims, 43% of whom were from rural areas. Stings mainly occurred at night between 7p.m. and 5a.m. (56.1%), or from early morning 5a.m. to 12a.m. (38.6%), 41% of which occurred in the lower extremities. Eighty three percent of accidents occurred in mild/hot months of this area between April and October. The age most inflicted was between 1 month to 10 years and 11-20 years old, observed in 39.6% and 26.8% of victims, respectively. Among all the 26,397 scorpion stung files studied over the period of the study, while only 10-15% of stung cases occurred due to this not highly prevalent scorpion of Iran, it was responsible for 89% of the deaths and 92% of hospitalized scorpion-stung patients. The majority of cases were children aged less than 12 years old. Clinical signs and symptoms were both local and systemic. The local symptoms ranged from erythema to severe necrosis with no immediate sensation of pain. Renal toxicity is one of the serious systemic effects, which, if not treated early by administration of the polyvalent antivenom, can progress to severe renal and cardio-respiratory failure. Overall, the findings demonstrate that the characteristic clinical features of envenomation produced by this scorpion differ significantly from those reported for other scorpions in the world.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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