Retrospective Review of Snake Bite Victims (Scientific Article) (Clinical Report)
Introduction Venomous snakebites are a serious health hazard in several parts of the world. Fragmentary evidence available suggests that several million bites and envenomation occur worldwide each year, leading to tens of thousands of deaths (1,2). In several parts of Asia and Africa where snakebites have a particularly high rate of mortality (10-12%), young agricultural workers, especially males, are the most highly affected group, making snake bite envenoming a truly occupational disease–a fact that is frequently overlooked by national authorities (3,4). Although not a significant health hazard in U.S., there is still a surprisingly high incidence of venomous snakebites; estimated to be approximately 8,000 each year, with less than 10 deaths annually (5,6) Approximately one-half of snake bites occur in children (7). Most bites in the United States result from envenomation with snakes of the family Viperidae, subfamily Crotalinae, which includes rattlesnakes and copperheads. A small number of bites are caused by coral snakes and imported exotic snakes. In this paper we report our experience with the management of patients with snakebites at the Jon Michael Moore Trauma Center at West Virginia University in Morgantown, which is the only ACS verified Level I trauma center in West Virginia.