Insulin reverses haemodynamic changes and pulmonary oedema in children stung by the Indian red scorpion Mesobuthus tamulus concanesis, Pocock

Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 1991 Dec;85(6):651-7. doi: 10.1080/00034983.1991.11812621.


The efficacy of insulin administration in reversing haemodynamic changes in pulmonary oedema in victims of poisonous scorpion sting is assessed by a study based on animal experiments in which insulin administration reversed metabolic and electrocardiographic changes induced by scorpion envenomation. Six previously healthy children aged 18 months to 11 years were admitted to hospital five to 17 hours after scorpion sting. Frusemide for raised central venous pressure and pulmonary oedema, crystalloid infusion for reduced central venous pressure, and hydrocortisone and dopamine for hypotension were used as standard therapy. Insulin (0.3 units g-1 of glucose) was administered when the standard therapy failed to produce an improvement, and at the earliest sign of haemodynamic instability. Reversal of pulmonary oedema and haemodynamic changes, and attainment or normal respiratory rate, blood pressure and central venous pressure, were observed. It is concluded that insulin administration may be useful in reversing haemodynamic changes and pulmonary oedema in victims of scorpion stings.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hypotension / drug therapy*
  • Infant
  • Insulin / therapeutic use*
  • Pulmonary Edema / drug therapy*
  • Respiration / drug effects
  • Scorpion Stings / drug therapy*
  • Scorpion Stings / physiopathology
  • Scorpions


  • Insulin