Study of Factors Contributing to Scorpion Envenomation in Arizona
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.
KeywordsCentruroides sculpturatus Scorpions Poison control centers United States Surveys and questionnaires
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
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