DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_193_21 ISSN: 2589-8302

A Rural Obstetrician with Acute Severe Foot Pain: Could it be a Scorpion Sting?

Godpower Chinedu Michael, Adewale Olufemi Ashimi
  • General Medicine


Scorpion stings, a potentially life-threatening emergency, are under-reported in Nigeria. A sudden initially unexplained, severe excruciating, right toe pain with minimal swelling in a rural-dwelling obstetrician was due to a sting by an unknown species of scorpion lodged in the victim’s shoe. He was managed by supportive treatment with digital block using plain lignocaine, intravenous hydrocortisone, analgesics, tetanus prophylaxis, and close monitoring with a good outcome. Scorpion sting can occur in the rural-dwelling healthcare worker despite their knowledge of preventive measures. The low index of suspicion, coupled with fatigue/burnout from work overload, can be risk factors for stings. A sting is an important differential diagnosis of acute severe foot pain, especially in rural settings where animal bites and stings are common. There is poor scorpion species characterization among healthcare workers. Reduction of incidences of stings will require consistent application of preventive measures.

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