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Non-venomous snake bite and snake bite without envenoming in a Brazilian teaching hospital. Analysis of 91 cases



Non-venomous snake bite and snake bite without envenoming in a Brazilian teaching hospital. Analysis of 91 cases



Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de Sao Paulo 34(6): 499-503



A retrospective survery of 473 cases of snake bite admitted to a Brazilian teaching hospital from 1984 to 1990 revealed 91 cases of bite without envenoming and/or caused by non-venomous snakes. In 17 of these cases the snake was identified, and one patient was bitten by a snake-like reptile (Amphisbaena mertensii). In 43 cases diagnosis was made on clinical grounds (fang marks in the absence of signs of envenoming). The other 30 cases were of patients who complained of being bitten but who did not show any sign of envenoming or fang mark. Most cases occurred in men (66; 73%), in the 10-19 years age group (26;29%), in the lower limbs (51/74; 69%), between 6 A.M. and 2 P.M. (49;61%) and in the month of April (16;18%). One patient bitten by Philodryas olfersii developed severe local pain, swelling and redness at the site of the bite, with normal clotting time. The patient bitten by Drymarcon corais was misdiagnosed as being bitten by a snake of the genus Bothrops, was given the specific antivenom, and developed anaphylaxis. One patient bitten by Sibynomorphus mikanii presented prolonged clotting time, and was also given antivenom as a case of Bothrops bite. Correct identification of venomous snakes by physicians is necessary to provide correct treatment to victims of snake bite, avoiding unnecessary distress to the patient, and overprescription of antivenom, which may eventually cause severe untoward effects.

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Accession: 009104021

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 1342117

DOI: 10.1590/s0036-46651992000600002


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