Document Detail

Snakebite Survivors Club: Retrospective Review of Rattlesnake Bites in Central California.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23200707     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
OBJECTIVE: We investigated clinical patterns of crotaline envenomation presenting to a tertiary-care academic hospital in Central California over a 10-year period. METHODS: An IRB-approved, retrospective chart review was conducted on all patients diagnosed with snakebite from December 2000 to December 2010. Data abstracted: demographics, anatomic location of bite, comorbid conditions and intoxicants, length of stay, antivenom dose, laboratory results, and complications or procedures. RESULTS: There were 46 snakebite cases admitted over the study period. Five were "dry bites;" the remaining cases (41/46) received antivenom. There was a male predominance (83% male victims). Upper extremity bites were more common (32/41 upper vs 10/42 lower extremity). One victim sustained bilateral bites to the hands. Thirty-five patients (85%) were admitted, with an average length of stay 2.12 days. The longest hospitalization was 15 days. There were no fatalities. The average time from bite to ED presentation was 2 hours 44 minutes. Bites occurred during every month except November, with the majority occurring during spring and summer months and peaking in June (12/42 cases). Most bites occurred in the hours between noon and 8 pm. The amount of antivenom given ranged from 2 to 35 vials (average, 9 vials). Interfacility transfers were common in our study population: thirteen (32%) patients were transferred into our emergency department for a higher level of care, and 3 (7%) were transferred out (two because of insurance requirements, and one for higher level of Pediatric ICU care). There were no surgical interventions in our study group. Intoxication did not appear to play a major role in this population as only 3 patients (7%) were found to be acutely intoxicated: one with cannabis and amphetamines, 1 with alcohol, and 1 with opioids. CONCLUSIONS: In Central California, crotaline envenomations occurred mainly in adult males. Dry bites, or bites not requiring antivenom administration, were uncommon, comprising only 10% of bites in this study population. Contrary to popular and clinical beliefs, substance abuse and/or alcohol intoxication did not appear to play a role in the majority of patients in this study. Care providers and snakebite specialists should be aware that snakebite patients are often transferred between facilities, a finding that may be useful in designing future first aid protocols and research. We hope these findings add concrete data and help correct some common misconceptions about snakebites in Central California.
Susanne Spano; Fernando Macias; Brandy Snowden; Rais Vohra
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-11-27
Journal Detail:
Title:  Toxicon : official journal of the International Society on Toxinology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1879-3150     ISO Abbreviation:  Toxicon     Publication Date:  2012 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-12-3     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  1307333     Medline TA:  Toxicon     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
University of California, San Francisco Fresno, Department of Emergency Medicine. Electronic address:
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