Tags

Type your tag names separated by a space and hit enter

Current management of copperhead snakebite.
J Am Coll Surg. 2011 Apr; 212(4):470-4; discussion 474-5.JA

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Several thousand snakebites occur annually in the US, but fewer than 10 deaths occur. Most deaths are from envenomations by rattlesnakes (Crotalus species), but deaths from copperhead and water moccasin (Agkistrodon species) are rare.

STUDY DESIGN

All snakebites presented to East Texas Medical Center, Crockett, a level III trauma center, from 1995 to 2010 were reviewed. A total of 142 snakebites were treated. Ninety-four were of the Agkistrodon species-contortrix contortrix (copperhead) or piscivorus leukostoma (water moccasin). Three were rattlesnakes, and 3 were from the Texas coral snake (Micrurus fulvius tener). Forty-two were unidentified pit vipers. The following results are of the 88 copperhead bites.

RESULTS

The most common presenting symptoms were pain and swelling. Eighty-five percent were of grade 1 envenomations. Ten patients had laboratory abnormalities secondary to the snakebite. Forty-four were admitted for observation. The average length of stay for patients admitted was 2 days. No patients received antivenom, and no patients required surgical intervention. There were no deaths. One patient had edema and ecchymosis that persisted for more than 1 month.

CONCLUSIONS

Accurate identification of the pit viper species involved in snakebites is essential. Although envenomation by a rattlesnake (Crotalus species) may require antivenom and uncommonly surgery, a bite by a copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) rarely requires any intervention other than observation. The unnecessary use of antivenom should be discouraged.

Authors+Show Affiliations

East Texas Medical Center, Crockett, Texas 75835, USA.No affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

21463771

Citation

Walker, J Patrick, and Ray L. Morrison. "Current Management of Copperhead Snakebite." Journal of the American College of Surgeons, vol. 212, no. 4, 2011, pp. 470-4; discussion 474-5.
Walker JP, Morrison RL. Current management of copperhead snakebite. J Am Coll Surg. 2011;212(4):470-4; discussion 474-5.
Walker, J. P., & Morrison, R. L. (2011). Current management of copperhead snakebite. Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 212(4), 470-4; discussion 474-5. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2010.12.049
Walker JP, Morrison RL. Current Management of Copperhead Snakebite. J Am Coll Surg. 2011;212(4):470-4; discussion 474-5. PubMed PMID: 21463771.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Current management of copperhead snakebite. AU - Walker,J Patrick, AU - Morrison,Ray L, PY - 2010/12/16/received PY - 2010/12/16/accepted PY - 2011/4/6/entrez PY - 2011/4/6/pubmed PY - 2011/6/29/medline SP - 470-4; discussion 474-5 JF - Journal of the American College of Surgeons JO - J. Am. Coll. Surg. VL - 212 IS - 4 N2 - BACKGROUND: Several thousand snakebites occur annually in the US, but fewer than 10 deaths occur. Most deaths are from envenomations by rattlesnakes (Crotalus species), but deaths from copperhead and water moccasin (Agkistrodon species) are rare. STUDY DESIGN: All snakebites presented to East Texas Medical Center, Crockett, a level III trauma center, from 1995 to 2010 were reviewed. A total of 142 snakebites were treated. Ninety-four were of the Agkistrodon species-contortrix contortrix (copperhead) or piscivorus leukostoma (water moccasin). Three were rattlesnakes, and 3 were from the Texas coral snake (Micrurus fulvius tener). Forty-two were unidentified pit vipers. The following results are of the 88 copperhead bites. RESULTS: The most common presenting symptoms were pain and swelling. Eighty-five percent were of grade 1 envenomations. Ten patients had laboratory abnormalities secondary to the snakebite. Forty-four were admitted for observation. The average length of stay for patients admitted was 2 days. No patients received antivenom, and no patients required surgical intervention. There were no deaths. One patient had edema and ecchymosis that persisted for more than 1 month. CONCLUSIONS: Accurate identification of the pit viper species involved in snakebites is essential. Although envenomation by a rattlesnake (Crotalus species) may require antivenom and uncommonly surgery, a bite by a copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) rarely requires any intervention other than observation. The unnecessary use of antivenom should be discouraged. SN - 1879-1190 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/21463771/Current_management_of_copperhead_snakebite_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1072-7515(11)00007-X DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -