Podcast #105: Snake Bites Round 2

gty_rattlesnake_kab_150611_16x9_992Run Time: 4 minutes

Author: Aaron Lessen M.D.

Educational Pearls:

  •       In Colorado, the snake that people start worrying about in the spring and summer is that rattlesnake. However, 25% of bites are dry bites, meaning no venom, and there are only about 10 lethal snake bites per year in the US.
  •       The new anti-venom is CroFab, an immunoglobulin from sheep that has antibody to the toxin of the crotalinae. The anti-venom is expensive, but very safe for use.
  •       Swelling is generally the initial symptom; dangerous places include the hand and face. In the case of any significant swelling, get anti-venom treatment immediately.
  •       Treatment with anti-venom consists of 4-6 vials of antivenom then tracking swelling, and another dose of 4-6 vials if swelling continues within an hour.
  •       Rarely patients develop compartment syndrome, most resolve with antivenom and don’t need surgery
  •       In the United States, first aid is generally not needed as long as you keep calm and get to a hospital. It is even discouraged because it can cause more damage than benefits.

Link to Podcast: http://medicalminute.madewithopinion.com/snake-bites-round-2/

References:  https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000031.htm

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