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Acta toxicológica argentina

On-line version ISSN 1851-3743


CAZORLA PERFETTI, Dalmiro J et al. Clinical, epidemiological and treatment aspects of eleven cases of centipede envenomation in Adícora, Paraguaná peninsula, Falcón state, Venezuela. Acta toxicol. argent. [online]. 2012, vol.20, n.1, pp. 25-33. ISSN 1851-3743.

Despite centipede (Phylum Arthropoda, Clase Chilopoda) bites in humans are frequent and may potentially result in fatal consequences, in Venezuela publications on its envenoming and related characteristics are really scarce. Between October 2006 and May 2007, a descriptive and prospective survey was conducted to investigate epidemiological, clinical and treatment profiles on injuries caused by centipedes in patients that were attended in ambulatory emergency service at Adicora, Falcón state, Venezuela. These were clinically examined, and by mean of anamnesis were recorded site and time of bite. The centipede was collected for identification. Treatment consisted on the application of a topical antiseptic solution (povidone-iodine), intravenous administration of an anti-inflammatory analgesic, antibiotic therapy per os and tetanus immunization. It was registered 11 cases bitten by Scolopendra sp., 6 (54.55%) females and 5 (45.46%) males. Most of accidents occurred in the dry season (December- April>60%), adults (39-62 years old; 81.82%) local residents (81.82%), inside the home (54.55%), during the night (63.64%) and on the lower limbs (54.55%). The time between ambulatory medical assistance and the accident varied from 5 to 600 minutes, with a mean time of 169.9 ± 236.3. Most clinical manifestations observed were local: intense pain [Visual Analog Scale (VAS) = : 8.5 ± 0.63)], and erythema 100% of the cases. Patients had a satisfactory post-treatment evolution after 4 and 5 days, and pain VAS mean values significantly lower ( = 0.09 ± 0.20; t= 42.0, P= 0.0001). Envenoming injuries caused by Scolopendra sp. are public health concern at Adicora, Falcon state, Venezuela, that appear to increase with sinanthropic and nocturnal habits of centipede, and follow a seasonal pattern, requiring local symptomatic therapeutical treatment

Keywords : Centipedes; Scolopendra sp; Envenomation; Venezuela.

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