Document Detail

Use of antivenom for snakebites reported to United States poison centers.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20837254     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In 2001, a new antivenin was introduced to the United States and became widely available in the snakebite season of 2002. We investigated what impact this may have had on snakebite treatment and medical outcome. METHOD: The study used a retrospective review of all snakebites to humans reported to the National Poison Center Database System from 2000 to 2007. RESULTS: During the 8 years, there were 37,760 snakebites, with a mean of 4720 bites per year. There was a 27% increase in bites reported to a Poison center for the 8-year period and an overall 13.5% increase in the use of antivenin. The 2 categories primarily responsible for the increased use of antivenin were copperhead and crotaline-unknown. Rattlesnake bites remained the category most frequently treated with antivenin with a mean 52.5% treatment rate and only moderate increase for the 8 years. There was no change in the percentage or number of patients with a major outcome (mean, 3.8%) or death (mean, 0.5%). There was a decrease in patients with a minor outcome and an increase in patients with a moderate outcome. DISCUSSION: The new antivenin is reported to have a reduced potential for adverse reactions. This may have had a role in the decision of which snakebite victims received antivenin. CONCLUSION: With the introduction of a new antivenin, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of snakebite patients treated with antivenin. This has been most noticeable in snake bite categories that were less frequently treated with antivenin in the past.
Henry A Spiller; George M Bosse; Mark L Ryan
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2010-03-26
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American journal of emergency medicine     Volume:  28     ISSN:  1532-8171     ISO Abbreviation:  Am J Emerg Med     Publication Date:  2010 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-09-14     Completed Date:  2010-09-30     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8309942     Medline TA:  Am J Emerg Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  780-5     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kentucky Regional Poison Center, PO Box 35070, Louisville, KY 40232-5070, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Antivenins / therapeutic use*
Cause of Death
Chi-Square Distribution
Crotalid Venoms
Databases, Factual
Drug Utilization / statistics & numerical data
Emergency Medicine / organization & administration*
Health Care Surveys
Immunoglobulin Fragments / therapeutic use*
Linear Models
Patient Selection
Physician's Practice Patterns / organization & administration*
Poison Control Centers* / organization & administration
Retrospective Studies
Snake Bites / epidemiology,  therapy*
Treatment Outcome
United States / epidemiology
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Antivenins; 0/Crotalid Venoms; 0/Crotalidae Polyvalent immune Fab; 0/Immunoglobulin Fragments

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