EMPOWERING PHYSICIANS WITH EVIDENCE-BASED CONTENT
 

Home > Browse Topics

<< Bites and Stings Snakes, Spiders, and Scorpions in the United States

Snakes: Disposition

Crotaline Envenomation

Disposition of crotaline snakebite patients depends on the severity of the bite. If the patient displays no signs and symptoms of a bite, it is likely that a dry bite has occurred and no venom was injected. It is prudent to observe these patients for six to eight hours in order to identify any delayed onset of symptoms. If significant toxicity occurs that requires treatment with antivenom, the patient should be admitted for further evaluation and treatment. The patient may be discharged home when antivenom treatment is complete, all of the systemic signs have resolved, swelling has peaked, and pain is well-controlled with oral analgesics. It is important to inform the patient that it may take several weeks to regain full use of the affected extremity and that frequent follow-up is necessary.6

Elapid Envenomation

Patients with known or suspected elapid envenomation should be admitted to the hospital for observation. Some experts recommend empiric treatment with elapid antivenom even if the patient is asymptomatic due to the risk of delayed onset of paralysis and respiratory failure. Another approach is to admit the patient for 24 hours of careful monitoring and treat with antivenom only if neurological symptoms develop.

Other Articles Similar To This One:

Emergency Stroke Care, Advances and Controversies

 

About EB Medicine:

Products:

Accredited By:

ACCME ACCME
AMA AMA
ACEP ACEP
AAFP AAFP
AOA AOA
AAP AAP

Endorsed By:

AEMAA AEMAA
HONcode HONcode
STM STM

 

Last Modified: 08/17/2017
© EB Medicine