Poisoning by Scorpion Stings in Israel

P. Efrati
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  1. 1. The clinical manifestations in 22 cases of poisoning by scorpions are summarized. Some of these occurred in the southern part of Israel (Jerusalem and vicinity) and the others in the northern part (Tiberias and vicinity). These cases were observed by the author in the course of 12 years (1935–47).
  2. 2. A study of the symptoms indicates that the majority of them originate in the vegetative nervous system.
  3. 3. Of the 22 cases, six (aged 6 months to 12 years) terminated fatally.
  4. 4. All the severe cases, including the fatalities, were caused by Buthus quinquestriatus.
  5. 5. A detailed description of four cases is presented.
  6. 6. The clinical literature on scorpion poisoning is reviewed.
  7. 7. Treatment applied was largely symptomatical. In five cases, a combination of atropin and Gynergen was administered, based on the work of Ahmed Hassan Mohammed and Ali Hassan (Cairo) (1940). In three of the cases, this line of treatment failed to produce any effect, whilst in the two remaining instances an improvement was noted after administration. In 5 cases, anti-toxic serum, produced by the Pasteur Institute of Algiers, was injected. Of these cases, one died, as compared with 5 fatalities out of 17 cases that did not receive specific treatment.

    The quantity of serum given was insufficient.

  8. 8. The author stresses the need for the production of an anti-toxic serum specific for the scorpions of his country.

Author Notes

The P. Schweitzer Memorial Hospital, Tiberias; formerly physician at the Hadassa Rothschild University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel.