[Envenoming by common viper (Vipera berus)--subject still exists...].Przegl Lek. 2004; 61(4):427-32.PL
The only venomous reptile that naturally occurs in Poland is the adder or common viper (Vipera berus). Its bites are not of great epidemiological importance, but in some cases serious life-threatening symptoms may appear. The most common symptoms of adder envenomation are: local edema, reddening and pain of the bitten site and also the general symptoms coming from the alimentary tract (vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain), the circulatory system (hypotension, shock, ECG abnormalities), the central nervous system (sleepiness, vertigo, disorientation, loss of consciousness), hematological symptoms (leukocytosis, hemolysis, coagulopathy) and allergic symptoms (fever, urticaria, angio-oedema). In the present study we described the case of a twenty-year-old patient hospitalized at the Toxicology Department of the Collegium Medicum UJ after a viper bite. Except for some above-mentioned symptoms he also developed ocular symptoms like ptosis and blurred vision. Such symptoms after the common viper bite have not been described in the literature till now. The cause of them seems to be an intense allergic reaction in the region of the orbit and eyelids all the more so because the patient had the positive allergy history. However, taking into account the latest reports from the literature, a neurotoxic action of some components of the Vipera berus venom may also play a role. Because of the developing general symptoms a specific equine antivenom was administered to the patient, apart from the supportive care, without any serious side effects that usually are observed after the use of such a kind of sera. It is thought that the sheep antivenom is better than the equine one considering a lack of allergic side effects. As a result of applied treatment the local and general symptoms including ocular symptoms subsided.