[Adder bites--clinical picture, diagnosis and management].Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2008 May; 133(20):1075-80.DM
Adder bites are occasionally occurring envenoming emergencies. More than ten percent of the clinical courses are severe and even life-threatening. Children and elderly patients are over-represented in this group. Common symptoms comprise local edema, abdominal pain and vomiting, arterial hypotension and neurological disorders. First steps in the management are immobilization of the affected extremity, reassurance of the patient and application of analgetics. Anaphylaxis may occur and requires status adapted treatment. Persistent circulatory shock, protracted gastrointestinal or severe neurological symptoms, as well as rapidly progressing edema and airway obstruction are indications for antivenom treatment. Administration of antivenom results in prompt clinical improvement and in a significantly shorter hospital stay.