The Arizona bark scorpion is a glorious creature. They are light brown and generally grow up to six to eight centimeters long. The males are typically larger than the females. Just like most other scorpions, the Arizona bark has a powerful sting on it.
Although these are rarely fatal, young children and the elderly, under certain circumstances, can succumb to them. Thus, the Arizona bark scorpion can be considered deadly. This article focuses on the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of an Arizona bark sting.
What Makes a Scorpion Sting Dangerous?
Scorpions sting their victims by using their tails. They have eight legs, a couple of thick pinchers, and a long, curved tail. A scorpion sting is followed by a release of venom into the bloodstream of the victim. This venom is a particular mix of various harmful toxins (also known as neurotoxins) that adversely affect the human nervous system. There is a profound list of consequences of a scorpion sting that will be explained later in this article.
Despite the many incidents of stings we have become accustomed to witnessing, scorpions do not attack deliberately. They need to be provoked to make them aggressive. The Arizona bark scorpion is not limited to the state of Arizona. Do not be surprised and be alert if you find one in another part of the world. Chances are, it is as deadly as the ones found in the deserts of Arizona.
Can a Scorpion Sting Be Life Threatening?
Yes, in certain situations, an Arizona bark scorpion sting can turn out to be fatal. Young children and extremely old adults are the most in danger of capitulating to a horrific sting. These age groups are especially vulnerable to any form of attack in the nervous system. Children under the age of ten do not have the strongest immune and nervous systems. The same can be said about the elderly as their body’s defense mechanisms are not as strong as they once used to be. Thus, the post-sting symptoms have a chance of completely overwhelming them, leading to death.
Symptoms of a Scorpion Sting
There is way more to a scorpion sting than just the pain. The fact that it can inflict death proves the immense danger it poses to human health. Let us take a closer look into some of the most common symptoms of an Arizona bark scorpion sting.
Obviously, the sting is painful. Something that has a chance to cause death should never be taken lightly. Some people run the risk of losing their senses after getting stung by an Arizona bark scorpion due to the immense pain. The pain decreases over time but leaves a burning sensation behind. The affected area gets swollen, and the victim may encounter a tingling feeling.
After getting stung, the victim might feel the spot gradually going numb. This is because the scorpion venom destroys the nerve endings in the affected site and causes them to relay neurons without any control. This causes the tingling sensation felt by victims. After a while, the sting site starts to get numb — also due to the nerve damage.
The venom from the sting enters the bloodstream and takes part in a series of reactions within the victim’s blood. While all of these are not critical, some may turn out severe enough to cause anaphylaxis – a deadly condition. One of the most common symptoms of this is vomiting. Victims start to experience intense feelings of nausea after getting stung.
Scorpion venom consists of an immensely powerful chlorotoxin. It can block the internal chloride channels and prevent chloride ions from going into muscle cells. This is crucial, as these molecules are responsible for transmitting signals to the tissues and relaxing them. If this does not happen, all the muscles may flex simultaneously, leading to permanent paralysis.
Arizona bark scorpion venom can cause a person to seize. The various toxins in the venom affect the body’s muscles, causing convulsions and spasms. Muscle twitching, especially around the site of envenomation, is a common symptom of an Arizona bark scorpion sting.
Diagnosis and Treatment
An Arizona bark scorpion sting, despite being deadly on rare occasions, can be treated with relative ease. Most adults do not need any added attention after getting stung, although the situation is very different for young children. Read the following sections for a brief idea on some home and clinical remedies.
The site of envenomation needs to be cleaned with water and mild soap. Try applying a cold compress on the area, which will help ease the pain, something that can reach excruciating limits if not rapidly dealt with. Some victims suffer from allergic reactions after a sting. Try not to swallow anything if you feel your throat closing up. If the pain starts to get unbearable, taking ibuprofen can help reduce the discomfort. Also, make sure you are vaccinated for tetanus. In case you aren’t, you might have to go and get a shot.
Clinical remedies of Arizona bark scorpion bites generally involve the use of strong painkillers and antivenom medications. When the pain gets unbearable, victims tend to feel very sleepy. Taking medication that contributes to that is considered highly detrimental for the patient. Doctors suggest such patients stay away from sedatives and depressants.
The victims showcasing grave symptoms are generally prescribed with antivenom. Modern variants of these medicines are highly effective against Arizona bark scorpion venom. Doctors prescribe these medicines based on the patient’s record of allergies. The sting has a chance to trigger allergic reactions, making it potentially dangerous to administer antivenom into the body.
An Arizona bark scorpion sting should not be taken lightly no matter what age group you belong to. As you are aware by now, certain sting cases may escalate out of control and cause permanent damage like paralysis, if not loss of life.
Make sure you immediately apply home remedies if you have the ability. Otherwise, a visit to the doctor is the ideal way to go.
Click here to read our past blog, Tips on How to Get Rid of Houseflies