Venomous snakebites in southern Croatia.Coll Antropol. 2006 Mar; 30(1):191-7.CA
This retrospective study is based on the analysis of 542 snakebite envenomation cases in southern Croatia, which were treated in the University Hospital Split over the period of 21 years. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of venomous snakebite in southern Croatia, epidemiological and clinical features of snakebite and treatment in the region. The mean annual snakebite incidence in southern Croatia was 5.2 per 100,000 inhabitants. The nose- horned viper (Vipera ammodytes) was responsible for most bites, only a small proportion being inflicted by the adder (Vipera berus). People of all ages were affected (1 - 82 year old), but the bites were more frequent in individuals older than 50 (46% of the cases) and in children and adolescents 19 year old and younger (27% of the cases). Most snakebite accidents happened in warm spring and summer months, the highest number occurring in May (22%). A majority of the victims were rural people engaged in agricultural activities. Bites on the upper limbs were more frequent (57%) than bites on the lower limbs (42%). With regard to envenomation severity, there were 15.1% minor, 40.5% mild, 26% moderate and 18% severe cases. Two victims died (0.4%). The antivenom produced by the Institute of Immunology in Zagreb was given to virtually all patients, and complications following its administration were rare. The antivenom was used more often than it was suggested by the symptoms present.