Snakebite Questions & Answers

Updated: May 08, 2020
  • Author: Spencer Greene, MD, MS, FACEP, FACMT, FAAEM; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Questions & Answers

Overview

How many venemous snakebites are estimated to occur annually, globally and in the United States?

What are the characteristics of crotalids?

How are coral snakes identified?

How do fang characteristics of coral snakes and crotalids determine venom delivery?

What are the componets of snake venom?

What are unique characteristics of crotalid venom?

What are unique characteristics of coral snake venom?

What are risk factors for snakebite?

What is the prevalence of snakebites in the US?

What is the global prevalence of snakebites?

Which racial group has the highest prevalencee of snakebites?

How does the incidence of snakebites vary by sex?

How does the incidence of snakebites vary by age?

What is the role of drugs and alcohol in snakebites?

What role does seasonal variation play in snakebite?

What is the mortality risk from snakebite?

What are the mortality statistics for snakebites in the US?

What is the morbidity associated with snakebite?

Where is more information on snake species and snakebites found?

Presentation

What is the focus of history in the evaluation of a snakebite?

What are the physical findings of snakebite?

What complications are associated with snakebite?

DDX

What are the differential diagnoses for Snakebite?

Workup

Which lab studies are performed in the evaluation of snakebite?

Which imaging studies are performed in the evaluation of snakebite?

What other tests might be needed in the evaluation of snakebite?

Treatment

How is the overall envenomation severity determined in snakebite?

How is the snakebite severity score (SSS) used in the evaluation of snakebites?

What are general management principles for initial treatment of snakebites?

What is the first priority in prehospital care?

What are primary elements of prehospital care in snakebites?

What prehospital care interventions are ineffective and possibly harmful?

What are the initial steps for emergency department care?

What is the role of limb elevation in snakebite emergency department care?

What is the importance of identifying the type of snake involved in the bite?

What is the specific treatment for crotalid envenomations?

What are the indications for antivenom use in crotalid envenomations?

What is the treatment for coral snake envenomation?

How long should snakebite victims be monitored in the emergency department?

When should snakebite victims be admitted to the hospital?

When is surgery indicated for treatment of snakebites?

Which consultations are needed for the diagnosis and management of snakebites?

What type of antivenom-associated complications may occur in snakebite?

How common are antivenom-related complications in snakebite treatment?

Can someone previously treated with antivenom be treated with it again for a subsequent snakebite?

How are snakebites prevented?

Medications

What are the goals of drug treatment for snakebites?

Which medications in the drug class Immunizations are used in the treatment of Snakebite?

Which medications in the drug class Antibiotics are used in the treatment of Snakebite?

Which medications in the drug class Antivenins are used in the treatment of Snakebite?

Which medications in the drug class Cholinesterase inhibitors, peripheral are used in the treatment of Snakebite?