Scorpion fish

Poisoning caused by a sting from a scorpion fish.

Poisonous Ingredient 

  • scorpion fish venom

Where Found 

  • scorpion fish  
  • related species


  • body as a whole       o local pain (severe)       o swelling at site of puncture(s) eventually involving the entire arm or leg  
  • gastrointestinal       o nausea       o Vomiting       o diarrhea  
  • respiratory       o Shortness of breath  
  • heart and blood vessels       o high or Low Blood pressure       o rapid or slow heart rate  
  • nervous system       o fainting       o delirium       o seizures       o paralysis

Home Treatment 
Wash the area with salt water. Remove any foreign material at the wound site. Contact the emergency room. Soak the wound in the hottest water the person can tolerate for 30 to 90 minutes, if instructed to do so. Contact Poison Control Center for appropriate treatment instructions.

Before Calling Emergency 
Determine the following information:

  • the patient’s age, weight, and condition  
  • identification of the marine animal causing the sting if possible  
  • the time stung

Poison Control, or a local emergency number 
They will instruct you if it is necessary to take the patient to the hospital and advise of any appropriate first aid that can be administered immediately.

What to expect at the emergency room 
Some or all of the following procedures may be performed:

  • Wash the area.  
  • Remove any possible foreign material.  
  • Soak the wound.  
  • Remove any remaining material.  
  • Give tetanus immunization if necessary.  
  • Give antibiotic if necessary.  
  • Treat the symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis) 
Recovery will probably depend on how much toxin the patient received, any sensitivity to the toxin, and how soon adequate treatment can be obtained.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 7, 2012
by Sharon M. Smith, M.D.

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All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.