What to do if you’ve been stung by a scorpion in Panama

There are 16 species and subspecies of scorpions in Panama. Of these 16 species none have a deadly venomous sting. However, their stings can still be painful, worrying and life threatening to some. Infants and those already frail in health can be affected far worse by a scorpion’s sting, and they are likely to need hospitalization if stung. Generally a person in good health should recover without a visit to the hospital - with some acceptions (when in doubt check it out).   What to do if you’ve been stung: - Take a single dose of antihistamine (benadryl) and analgesic (acetaminophen).    - Wash the affected area with soap and water. - Ice it for several hours .- Antihistamine, corticosteroid, and analgesic ointments can help ease pain. 

- Squeezing some of the venom out of the wound can have certain benefits, such as reducing numbness in the area however it will result in some bruising and swelling the next morning. 
- If you experience any of the danger signs below you should go to the hospital. If you can, kill the scorpion and bring it with you.

Danger signs:
A.k.a get to the hospital if you experience any of these symptoms...
- Muscle spasms.
- Hyperventilation.
- Racing pulse or heartbeat.
- Dizziness or disorientation.
- Anaphylactic shock.
*If an infant or elderly person gets stung, get them to the hospital.


Get rid of all scorpion habitats …
- Remove their homes include: Stones, bricks, logs, wood piles etc.
- Keep short grass, so they can’t hide amongst it.
- Keep garbage off the ground.
- Seal all doors and windows with weather strips.
- Plug all holes and cracks on exterior walls with caulking.

Be aware they are there…
- Check your shoes, bags, luggage etc.
- Scorpions glow under ultraviolet light. You can hunt them down with a UV light.
- Boric acid will kill scorpions like it does cockroaches.
- A damp burlap bag will attract scorpions.


A personal note: A friend of a friend was stung a few weeks ago and the major symptom she experienced was numbness. The numbness traveled from the sting site (arm) to her upper body and face, which lead to a hospital visit. Her symptoms subsided within three days, and she regained full use of her arm.

Stings can affect people differently; it also depends on what species has stung you, and where you were stung. It is important to not panic, if you are alone... tell someone you have been stung - it's possible you might not be able to make some important decisions on your own.