Sri Lankan green pit viper (Trimeresurus trigonocephalus) bites in Deniyaya: A clinico-epidemiological study.Toxicon. 2019 Nov; 169:34-37.T
Green pit viper (Trimeresurus trigonocephalus) is endemic to Sri Lanka and bites are reported from tropical rain forest and plantation areas. As scant data exists on clinico-epidemiological features of Sri Lankan green pit viper bite, objective of this study was to address this knowledge gap. A prospective observational study was conducted in Base Hospital Deniyaya from October 2013 to September 2015. Green pit viper as the offending snake was identified when the victims brought live or dead specimens. When the specimen was not available, green pit viper was identified by the victim pointing to preserved specimens and photographs of green pit viper and different similar appearing snakes. Clinical details were recorded during the hospital stay. Twenty four green pit viper bite patients (17-68 years) were studied. All cases were daytime bites despite green pit viper being a nocturnally active snake. Sixteen patients (67%) were bitten while they were working in tea plantation. Hands (42%), feet, (33%), forearms (8%), legs (8%), thighs (4%) and shoulders (4%) were the sites of bites. Thirteen (54%) had extensive limb swelling. Nine (38%) had local swelling and two had no swelling. Three (12.5%) developed haemorrhagic blisters. Four (17%) had regional lymphadenopathy. Two (8%) developed non clotting blood by the TWBCT. Green pit viper bites caused substantial morbidity. Risk factors included day time outdoor activities in bordering villages of tropical rain forests and occupation. Pain, extensive limb swelling and bite site swelling were prominent clinical features. However haemorrhagic blisters, regional lymphadenopathy and coagulopathy were reported. Nephrotoxicity and neurotoxicity were notably absent.