Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 667-679

Venomous snakebites and antivenom treatment according to a protocol for pediatric patients in taiwan

Wang, J. DTsan, YTYan-Chiao, MaoWang, LM

Children bitten by venomous snakes comprise emergency cases that present high morbidity and mortality, especially in some regions of Asia and Africa. Reports on clinical features and management of envenomated children are scarce. This observational study implemented a protocol for antivenom use in pediatric snakebite victims in Taiwan, between 1994 and 2007. The present work investigated demographics, clinical features and effects of antivenom therapy and the complications and prognosis for snakebites. A total of 55 children and adolescents, with a median age of 9.9 years (ranging from 2 to 18 years), was identified. Forty-five patients (82 percent) were bitten between May and September. Thirty-five patients (64 percent) received antivenom therapy, 28 of them (80 percent) within two hours after being bitten. No fatalities occurred and only five of 35 patients (14 percent) had major morbidity when treated according to the protocol. Thirty-one snakes (56 percent) were identified and 12 of them (38 percent) were Naja atra. This study indicates that a protocol for children affected by snakebites is valuable for guiding emergency physicians to treat these patients immediately. Further strategies are required to reduce the morbidity rate that occurs as a result of Naja atra bite.(AU)

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