Scorpions appear like miniature lobsters with lobster-like pinchers and long up-curved tails but with a poisonous stinger at its end. Presently there are several species of scorpions that inhibit all major continents around the world. The Bark Scorpion in North America accounts for the majority of reported scorpion stings in the region and is regarded as one of the most poisonous scorpions in North America. Small children and elderly adults are the most at risk from severe complications and death resulting from scorpion stings.
One thing that we should always consider is to stay calm and avoid panicking. The more you panic, the more you will not be able to handle the situation properly and that may take your child or your patient at risk. First thing you need to do is to take a look at the situation and assess the condition of your child or your patient. If you were able to have a first aid and Canadian CPR courses before, then you will know what to do on this kind of situation.
The most frequent sign of a scorpion sting especially in an adult victim is an immediate localized pain and burning sensation around the sting site which later will progress to numbness and tingling and loss of sensation around the sting area.
To care for a scorpion sting:
- Gently wash the sting site with soap and running water or rubbing alcohol.
- Apply ice or cold pack over the area to alleviate pain and swelling.
- Contact emergency medical services or rush the victim to the nearest hospital for evaluation and further management.
Most tick bites are usually harmless. However, it is through their bites that they transmit serious diseases. The rule is basically the longer the tick remains embedded, the greater the chances it might transmit diseases to the host. Since tick bites are generally painless, a tick can remain latched for several days without the victim realizing it.
Two types of ticks can transmit diseases. Deer ticks for example are small about the size of the head of a pin. Wood ticks are larger usually about a one quarter of an inch. Depending on where the victim lives, physicians may prescribe prophylaxis treatment for certain diseases transmitted by ticks. If a tick is found embedded in a victim especially for more than a few hours, the victim should seek medical care promptly.
- Remove the tick with tweezers or specialized tick removing tool. Pick up the tick as close to the skin as possible and lift the tick with enough force to stretch the skin’s surface.
- Wash the area with soap and running water or use an antiseptic.
- Apply ice or cold pack to reduce the pain.
- Seek medical care if the tick was embedded for more than a few hours. If rashes appear, promptly get medical care. Watch for other signs of tick transmitted diseases such as fever, muscle or joint pain and weakness.
First Aid for Insect Bites : How to Treat a Scorpion Bite
The most important thing to consider when preventing tick bites is proper clothing and inspection especially in endemic places where ticks with are known to thrive. While in wooded areas, brush or tall grasses consider doing the following precautions:
- Wear long pants and long sleeves.
- Wear light colored clothes so ticks can be easily spotted and recognize.
- Tuck in your shirt into your pants.
- Apply insect repellants on skin or clothes.
It is crucial to remove a tick within 24 hours or as soon as spotted. Once at home, remove all clothes and thoroughly inspect all skin surface areas including the scalp. Learn more about the Canadian Re-certification courses and be prepared as always.
Alton, T. et al (2012). First Aid, CPR and AED Standard 6th Ed. Jones & Bartlett Learning