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An evaluation of snake bites and antivenin use at a regional medical center.
Am Surg. 2010 Jul; 76(7):755-8.AS

Abstract

Snake bites are a rare but challenging problem for surgeons. The purpose of our study was to evaluate our experience with snake bites at a regional medical center. We reviewed patients treated for snake bites from 2004 to July 2008. Demographics, clinical information, and outcomes were documented. Descriptive statistics were used, and chi2, t test, and Fisher exact test were used to compare patients based on antivenin use. A P value < 0.05 was considered significant. Over the study period, 126 patients presented to the emergency department with 44 (35%) requiring hospital admission. The average age was 38 years (range, 2 to 76 years); 66 per cent were male and 95 per cent white. Bites most commonly occurred in the summer and fall months with none from December through March. Copperhead bites accounted for 50 per cent of bites. An average of 4.8 vials of antivenin was given to 61 per cent of admitted patients with 93 per cent receiving the drug within 6 hours. Minor reactions to antivenin occurred in three patients (11%). Two patients required surgery (5%), and the readmission rate was 7 per cent. There was no known morbidity or mortality. When comparing patients who received antivenin with patients who did not, the only significant clinical variables were an increased prothrombin time (12.1 vs. 11.7, respectively; P = 0.048) and a longer length of hospital stay (3 vs. 1.8 days, P = 0.0006) in patients receiving antivenin. The majority of patients with snake bites can be treated with supportive care and antivenin when indicated. Antivenin use at our institution is largely based on physical findings and not related to laboratory values.

Authors+Show Affiliations

South East Area Health Education Center, Department of Surgery, New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Wilmington, North Carolina 28401, USA.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

20698386

Citation

Watson, Larry I., et al. "An Evaluation of Snake Bites and Antivenin Use at a Regional Medical Center." The American Surgeon, vol. 76, no. 7, 2010, pp. 755-8.
Watson LI, Spivey C, Menon CR, et al. An evaluation of snake bites and antivenin use at a regional medical center. Am Surg. 2010;76(7):755-8.
Watson, L. I., Spivey, C., Menon, C. R., Kotwall, C. A., Clancy, T. V., & Hope, W. W. (2010). An evaluation of snake bites and antivenin use at a regional medical center. The American Surgeon, 76(7), 755-8.
Watson LI, et al. An Evaluation of Snake Bites and Antivenin Use at a Regional Medical Center. Am Surg. 2010;76(7):755-8. PubMed PMID: 20698386.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - An evaluation of snake bites and antivenin use at a regional medical center. AU - Watson,Larry I, AU - Spivey,Christy, AU - Menon,Cen Rema, AU - Kotwall,Cyrus A, AU - Clancy,Thomas V, AU - Hope,William W, PY - 2010/8/12/entrez PY - 2010/8/12/pubmed PY - 2010/10/1/medline SP - 755 EP - 8 JF - The American surgeon JO - Am Surg VL - 76 IS - 7 N2 - Snake bites are a rare but challenging problem for surgeons. The purpose of our study was to evaluate our experience with snake bites at a regional medical center. We reviewed patients treated for snake bites from 2004 to July 2008. Demographics, clinical information, and outcomes were documented. Descriptive statistics were used, and chi2, t test, and Fisher exact test were used to compare patients based on antivenin use. A P value < 0.05 was considered significant. Over the study period, 126 patients presented to the emergency department with 44 (35%) requiring hospital admission. The average age was 38 years (range, 2 to 76 years); 66 per cent were male and 95 per cent white. Bites most commonly occurred in the summer and fall months with none from December through March. Copperhead bites accounted for 50 per cent of bites. An average of 4.8 vials of antivenin was given to 61 per cent of admitted patients with 93 per cent receiving the drug within 6 hours. Minor reactions to antivenin occurred in three patients (11%). Two patients required surgery (5%), and the readmission rate was 7 per cent. There was no known morbidity or mortality. When comparing patients who received antivenin with patients who did not, the only significant clinical variables were an increased prothrombin time (12.1 vs. 11.7, respectively; P = 0.048) and a longer length of hospital stay (3 vs. 1.8 days, P = 0.0006) in patients receiving antivenin. The majority of patients with snake bites can be treated with supportive care and antivenin when indicated. Antivenin use at our institution is largely based on physical findings and not related to laboratory values. SN - 0003-1348 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/20698386/An_evaluation_of_snake_bites_and_antivenin_use_at_a_regional_medical_center_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -