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Antivenom for Neurotoxicity from Scorpion Stings
The results showed that the clinical syndrome resolved more rapidly among recipients of the antivenom than among recipients of placebo, with a resolution of symptoms in all 8 antivenom recipients versus one of 7 placebo recipients within 4 hours after treatment. More midazolam was given to the placebo recipients (by necessity to treat symptoms) than in the antivenom recipients. Plasma venom concentrations were undetectable in all 8 antivenom recipients, but in only one placebo recipient one hour after treatment, which indicates that the antivenom neutralized circulating antivenom.
The conclusions are very helpful for clinicians treating scorpion envenomation syndromes with neurotoxic manifestations in critically ill children. They are that intravenous administration of scorpion-specific F(ab)’2 antivenom resolved the clinical syndrome within 4 hours, reduced the need for concomitant sedation with midazolam, and reduced the levels of circulating unbound venom.
This is very important new information. It is estimated that in North America, predominately in Mexico, more than 250,000 people per year are stung by scorpions. The major culprits are of the genus Centruroides. The antivenom used in this study was scorpion-specific F(ab)’2 antivenom (Anascorp, Centruroides [scorpion] immune F(ab)2 intravenous [equine], Instituto Bioclon).
The authors note that there has never been an approved, marketed antivenom therapy for scorpion envenomation in the United States. The only previously available scorpion antivenom in the U.S. was a goat-derived whole IgG (immunoglobulin G) preparation that has not been produced since 1999. Based on the current study, it now appears that there is a relatively safe product for treatment of critically ill children. Its use for critically ill adults and for children and adults with non-critical scorpion envenomation syndromes remains to be studied with the degree of rigor necessary to suggest its regulatory approval for use in the U.S.
image courtesy of about.com: Phoenix
Preview the Annual Meeting of the Wilderness Medical Society, which will be held in Snowmass, Colorado July 24-29, 2009.
Tags: scorpion, scorpion antivenom, scorpion sting, wilderness medicine, outdoor medicine, healthline
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