Monday, July 2, 2012

4 year old stung by scorpion

The scorpion that stung our son in 2011.
Last June my then 1 year old was stung by a scorpion. It was a very scary experience and luckily our au pair was home and watched our sleeping (then) 3 year old as we went to the ER and had him treated for his allergic reaction to the venom. At the time, Anascorp was in clinical trials and we had the hospital ER copay and a doctor copay. He needed one dose of Anascorp and within 10 minutes of the drip, he was miraculously better. His body stopped twitching, his oxygen levels became normal and, scary as it was, he was okay.

Fast forward to last night and our 4 year old was watching the Olympic Swimming trials and was excited - she's taking swim lessons after all. I was washing dishes and my husband was having dinner with our son. We have an open floor plan so we were basically all in the same room. The bathroom light was off and my husband asked our 4 year old to turn it off - she stood up from the chair and turned off the light and SCREECHED out - SCORPION. She started hopping and then crying. I picked her up and she said it stung her. My husband ran to the bathroom and didn't see it. My son started calling out and my daughter was saying "dadda, dadda" so I tried giving my daughter to him and she said "no dadda kill it" followed by many sobs and "ouchies." He found the culprit under the chair and killed it.

We brought her into the bedroom and gave her some rescue remedy. I considered out loud taking her to the ER and waiting in the parking lot, just in case, but within 2 minutes of that talk, she said her tongue was feeling funny.
We put a diaper on our 2 year old and headed to the car. By the time we made it to the hallway, my daughter started vomiting. My husband put her into the car and I changed my shirt quickly and all four of us were on our way to the same ER.

We sped through our community - by the time we were to the stop light, a mile or so away, my daughter's eyes were twirling back. By the time we hit the interstate, around three miles away, she was twitching and still vomiting. I had her in her carseat but loosened the straps lightly so she could vomit without (hopefully) aspirating. I continued to wipe her mouth as I could and hold her hand. I had an arm around her head and patting her chest, but even speeding down the expressway, it seemed we couldn't get their quick enough. As we pulled in to the Children's entrance of the ER, I unbuckled her and we made our way into the ER as my husband parked the car and brought in our son.
No one was at admitting but someone came in behind me who happened to be the same doctor who treated our son last year. She had us follow her through the doors and we explained what happened and they wanted me to fill out paperwork but with a jerking 4 year old over half my height, I couldn't fill out anything. My husband came in and filled out paperwork so we could be admitted and begin getting help. I knew that Anascorp was approved so we should likely get the anti-venom sooner than last year since we didn't have to fill out as much paperwork. 

I lay in bed with her and they began suctioning her and asking the various questions: is she up-to-date on immunizations, exposed to a smoker in home, etc. They got the line in for an IV and we began the waiting game. Within 40 minutes or so we had the first dose of anascorp and I waited for it to take affect as we snuggled. I began singing her songs while talking to the nurse and doctor, both of whom were gentle and helpful. However, that first dose didn't help.
Our 4 year old after the drug took affect
 to neutralize the venom in her
 body after a scorpion sting.

Our au pair was on her way back from a weekend trip so we called a local friend hoping she could take our son since it was coming on 10 pm and he wanted to sleep. He was extremely well behaved in the hospital room, but was tired and really wanted to sleep. She agreed and my husband headed out as we started the second dose of the medicine to chase away/neutralize the scorpion venom. At the same time our au pair called and was heading home and agreed to watch our son until we got home. There was poor reception - I tried to call my friend to let her know, but no reception. I was able to text her, which was great, since a lot of the time my phone rejects texts. 

The second dose started to work some, but still, my daughter's body was not able to fight off the venom - her oxygen levels were dipping to the high 80s, so we did a bit of oxygen near her face to help. She was thirsty and kept trying to talk to us. She was helpful and always opened her mouth for suctioning through out. That second dose didn't take, so a third was ordered. My husband returned and saw she was getting better. Her heart rate was closer to normal, respiration was coming down as well. We knew it was finally working. My daughter asked to go bathroom but didn't want to go in a diaper so we tried a pan - which wasn't working as she was afraid to pee in the bed. By then I was able to give her some space, per her request in the bed as she recovered and tried to sleep. Her eyes were still a bit twitchy, but her body at least was able to stop the extreme involuntary rigid kicks and thrashes.

At one point the nurse told us the drug was costing $10,000 per dose. She wasn't sure if that was per three bags or one. We are not looking forward to seeing what we have to pay after insurance. Maybe it is just $40 drug prescription, but probably not....
Needless to say I'm not happy with desert life at the moment... and our cat needs to upgrade her bug killing abilities :)


Jamie said...

How scary!! I'm so thankful she is ok.

Amanda McMahon said...

Thanks - we are so happy to have her home. She said today she was afraid at home but not at the hospital.

Amy said...

That is incredibly scary. I remember visiting my grandparents in Arizona when I was little. Grandma always kicked over rocks to see if a scopion was hiding. Thankfully we weren't ever stung by one.

Crafty Zoo said...

That is terrifying! I'm so glad your little one was okay!

Shannon Jaymesmom Gallagher said...

Wow, that is a terrifying story. That is one of the reasons I am thankful I do not live near the desert. Other than snake bites, I don't think there are any other deadly bites or stings like scorpions, unless you are allergic to bee stings of course. I am glad that your little one(s) are well now.

Meleakua said...

How scary!! I'm so glad she's okay! I wonder if homeopathics could help at all with something like that- it sounds like probably not! I've been meaning to pick up some Apis Mellifera just in case a bee sting or snakebite occurs at our homestead.. I think I'm going to have to add that to our first aid kit today! Is there anything you can keep at home just in case?