Last night my wife got stung by a scorpion about 11: pm she has been ill with nerve condition so we rushed the Cruz Rojo in Chapala and they had no meds and gave us directions to another place near the cemetary in Chapala which we could not find we finally came on home and with a little ice and little time for relaxing everything turn out OK. I share this as a warning I wasn't impressed at all and will try to keep more first aide items in house
Just my 2 centovos
I was not working last night, so I do not know exactly what happened. However, there is a lot of information missing in your post regarding the situation.
You say the Cruz Roja had no meds. The Cruz Roja has medication; they just did not offer the faboterapico, which as it turned out, was not even needed in her case. As for the place near the cemetery, they gave you the directions to the Chapala Municipal Clinic, which has no signs to guide you, and it is not in a place where anyone normally goes unless they live near it, or already know where it is.
First, here is the address to the municipal clinic:
Servicios Médicos Municipales
C.P. 45900 Chapala, Jalisco
Phone: 376 765 5421
Here is a map by Google:
Now let´s talk about the Scorpion anti-venom and why there was not any (actually there was one vial at the time you came last night). Most scorpion stings in Chapala are not dangerous. Only a few require the actual anti-venom which is correctly called "faboterapico". Years ago in Mexico if there was a sting, the best medication was a serum taken from animals exposed to scorpion toxin. It was the blood of the animal, with the cells removed, which left the clear serum which contained the antibodies against the scorpion toxin. It worked, but it also caused many allergic reactions. Around 1994, scientists in Mexico invented faboterapico. It is a pure anti-venom. They start with serum, then purify it to have just the antibodies, then they take an enzyme called pepsin to cut off the tail of the antibodies which are washed away in the process. The result is a product of molecules that stick to the toxin, inactivate it, and does not usually cause any allergic reaction. It is the best and safest scorpion anti-toxin medication in the world. It has been used for years in Mexico, and finally approved by the FDA in 2011 after 17 years of safe use in Mexico.
If you want to have one dose in your personal refrigerator, as I do, the actual cost is $554 pesos. The retail price is around $800. If you want to have one dose for black widows, the cost is $2000, and retail is about $2600. However, only one person has ever come to me to ask if I would acquire the anti-toxin for them so they could have it in their house. Everyone else waits until they are stung, then they seek help.
You can go to any doctor that has the anti-toxin, pay $800 plus cost of medical attention, assuming you can even get them to talk to you at 11 pm, and assuming they have the anti-toxin. Or, you can go to the Municipal clinic or the Cruz Roja which both make a serious effort to not only have the anti-toxin, but also offer it for free. This happens because we receive the anti-toxin from the Secretary of Salud for free. However, there are conditions. The patient must have more than slight symptoms (and pain is not a reason to give the anti-toxin). Second, how many we are given by the Secretary of Salud is up to them. How many we have available is simple math (how many we are given minus how many patients need it). If we are given 20, and use 19 in the first 15 days, and you come on day 16, and we have one dose left, and you do not present with life-threatening symptoms, they will not give you the last reserved dose (we always reserve the last does for a life and death patient, usually a baby who gets stung and cannot breath). Sorry that you were "not impressed", but we do the best we can to manage the resources we have been given. The best that could have been offered to you would have been up to two hours of observation, which would have been stupid to do because if she had presented with anything less than life-threatening symptoms, she still would not have received the last dose. However, last night the Municipal Clinic had about 14 doses (versus our 1 reserved dose), and by going to the Municipal Clinic, as you were informed you could do, they could have given her the anti-toxin with only the minimum required symptoms. Sometimes they do not have the anti-toxin, and they send patients to us. Sometimes we run out of it, and send patient to them. If you want to donate 40 doses per month to us ($554 x 40 = $22,160 pesos), we can try to "impress" you with the availabilty of the anti-toxin. Otherwise, we can only do the best we can with what we have.
As for scorpion stings in general in this area, here is something I wrote for another forum:
Whether someone dies, feels extreme pain, or feel almost nothing from a scorpion sting is determined by the scorpion species, the body mass of the victim, the amount of venom injected, and the individual person.
In the lakeside area, there are two families of scorpions – Buthidae and Vaejovindae. The genus of Buthidae in Mexico are called Centruroides, and northern Mexico has some dangerous ones. Lakeside, you there are less dangerous species such as centruroides infamatus or centruroides elegans. The other family here is Vaejovindae, and its many species of the genus vaejovis. Most people cannot identify local scorpions because they have more similarities than differences. However, generally the more poisonous scorpions have smaller pincers that have less muscle force, and require a more venomous toxin to kill its prey. The species of Centruroides found here have slightly smaller pincers than Vaejovis, and thus a stronger toxin. Fortunately, if you are stung here, statistics show it will probable be by a species of Vaejovis. How much poison is injected depends on the situation. A scorpion needs poison to defend itself and to kill its prey. Using all of it just to sting you is not in its own interest. If you just bump it, it will likely not sting with all its venom. If it is trapped in your pant leg, shoe, etc, it will sting to try to save its life, and may give you all it has. If it has already stung, it many not have had time to regenerate more toxin, and will not be dangerous. Scorpion poison is a neurotoxin, and can work by either retarding inactivation (an α-toxin) or enhancing activation (a ß-toxin), both leading to spontaneous depolarization of excitable cells (nerves and muscles). Nerves are “short circuited” to send pain signals of a problem that does not really exist (there is no real skin burn, just the sensation). In small children, muscles can move in limbs, face and eyes from the action of the toxin on the nerves and muscles. Although the heart could be directly affected, this would be very rare from a scorpion here. Both sympathetic and parasympathetic systems are involved, so the person could have hypertension or hypotension, hypersalivation, or even priapism in severe cases. In most adults, important symptoms are from nerves controlling the mouth and throat. The most dangerous effects are those that inhibit the ability to breath, either by airway obstruction, or by respiratory failure. Allergy to the toxin is also a possibility, as is allergy to the anti-toxin. Symptoms are usually evident in the first 15 to 45 minutes, although rare atypical symptoms can be delayed as much 5 to 8 hours. Classic lakeside symptoms are extreme pain in the area stung, and clinically important cases will have an unusual sensation in the throat.
There are many treatments, but few work. I have seen grease, garlic, bleach, etc. Pain medications (NSAIDS) are not very effective. Opioids could potentiate vomiting and respiratory depression. Antihistamines (very commonly used) will mask the symptoms. Local injection of anesthesia will resolve the some pain, but rarely done. If the symptoms include an unusual sensation in the throat, an anti-toxin called Faboterapico may be necessary. Faboterapico is a Mexican invention from 1994, and was finally approved by the FDA in 2011. It is a purified and modified antibody treatment. It is widely available through the Secreteria de Salud. It is available locally at both the Chapala Cruz Roja and the Chapala Municipal Clinic. At this time, the Secreteria de Salud supplies it free of charge, but in the near future it may require the person to have Seguro Popular. To have scorpions in your house, you need two things – an entrance and food. Screens and door seals are important, as well and not having other insects in your house for them to eat.