Journal of Medical Toxicology

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 30–35 | Cite as

Study of Factors Contributing to Scorpion Envenomation in Arizona

  • Bethany K. Bennett
  • Keith J. Boesen
  • Sharyn A. Welch
  • A. Min KangEmail author
Original Article



Arizona has the highest incidence of scorpion envenomation reported to US poison control centers (PCCs). Most cases reported are from a residence, but specific details are limited.


Specialists at Arizona’s two PCCs prospectively completed the Factors of Envenomation in Arizona Residences Survey (FEARS) for residential scorpion exposures reported during 4-week periods in the summer and winter. Based on these results, a second questionnaire, FEARS-2, targeting indoor residential exposures was then administered.


Among 382 FEARS responses, no significant differences were found between summer and winter exposures, except for rainfall in the previous 24 hours. Scorpions had previously been seen in 81.8% of exposures, and 29.4% reported a previous envenomation at the residence. Most exposures occurred indoors (86.5%) and in a bedroom (42.5%), where the scorpion was in the bed in 54.7% of cases. Among all stings in a bed, 72.7% occurred while sleeping. Children were stung more often in a family room (38.6% vs. 14.5%; p < .00001) and by a scorpion on the floor (53.5% vs. 35.0%; p = .0014). Distal extremities were stung most often, particularly the foot (34.5%), with most being while barefoot (81.9%).


A variety of characteristics and associations involving residential scorpion envenomations were identified. These details can be used to guide public education and primary prevention efforts to help decrease residential scorpion exposures.


Centruroides sculpturatus Scorpions Poison control centers United States Surveys and questionnaires 




Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest


Supplementary material

13181_2018_690_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (96 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 96 kb)
13181_2018_690_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (96 kb)
ESM 2 (PDF 95 kb)


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Copyright information

© American College of Medical Toxicology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix (UACOMP)PhoenixUSA
  2. 2.Arizona Poison and Drug Information CenterUniversity of Arizona College of PharmacyTucsonUSA
  3. 3.Center for Toxicology and Pharmacology Education and Research (CTPER)UACOMPPhoenixUSA
  4. 4.Banner Poison and Drug Information CenterPhoenixUSA
  5. 5.Department of Child HealthUACOMPPhoenixUSA
  6. 6.Division of Medical Toxicology and Precision Medicine, Department of MedicineUACOMPPhoenixUSA
  7. 7.Department of Medical ToxicologyBanner – University Medical Center PhoenixPhoenixUSA
  8. 8.Section of Toxicology, Department of MedicinePhoenix Children’s HospitalPhoenixUSA

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