Image above from WildNaturePhotos
Adding to United Airlines public relations roes is a scorpion sting that occurred during one of its flights.
Richard Bell, a Canadian passenger sitting in Business Class, was eating his lunch when a scorpion fell from the overhead bin into his hair and then onto his plate. When he grabbed the arachnid, it stung him. Another passenger stepped on it and a flight attendant then flushed it down the toilet. The passenger did not suffer any life threatening injuries.
Image from CBC news: Richard Bell and his wife Linda
The scoop on scorpion stings
Initially the sting will be painful and can be followed by tingling, numbness or burning at the site.
Severe reactions could occur including shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, numbness, blurred vision, muscle twitching, low blood pressure and even seizures and death.
Most scorpions in North America are not venomous. However Centruroides sculpteratus, the Arizona bark scorpion, seen in the Southwestern US, can have such a toxic sting that it can be lethal to some, including children, older individuals and pets.
Scorpion stings need to be treated immediately by washing the sting site with soap and water.
911 or the poison control center may need to be contacted if the scorpion in question is the Arizona Bark scorpion BEFORE severe symptoms begin to appear.
Acetaminophen can be used for pain relief.
Cool compresses can be applied to the site to minimize pain and swelling.
At times antivenom needs to be given, and many emergency departments stock Anascorp, approved by the FDA for use against the bark scorpion sting.
If possible then, bring in the dead scorpion for health professionals to identify and determine the species.