Snakebite Workup

Updated: Jun 27, 2018
  • Author: Brian J Daley, MD, MBA, FACS, FCCP, CNSC; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Laboratory Studies

See the list below:

  • CBC count with manual differential and peripheral blood smear

  • Prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time, international normalized ratio (INR).

  • Fibrinogen and split products

  • Blood type and cross-match

  • Blood chemistries, including electrolytes, BUN, creatinine

  • Urinalysis for myoglobinuria

  • Arterial blood gas determinations and/or lactate level for patients with systemic symptoms


Imaging Studies

See the list below:

  • Baseline chest radiograph in patients with pulmonary edema

  • Plain radiograph to rule out retained fang(s) or foreign bodies


Other Tests

Compartmental pressures may need to be measured. Commercially available devices exist that are sterile, simple to assemble and read, and reliable (eg, the Stryker pressure monitor). Measurement of compartmental pressures is indicated when significant swelling is present, pain is out of proportion to examination, and if paresthesias are present in the affected limb.