Snake Bites and their emergency treatment


Snake venom contains many polypeptides including phospholipase, hyaluronidase and adenosine triphosphates.

Clinical Manifestation:

Determine whether bites are caused by a venomous or a non-venomous snake. Venomous snakes usually have two puncture wound, whereas non-venomous snakes have a U shaped bite wound.



LOCAL: – Oedema, erythema, and intense pain at the site of bite.


1-   Haematocrit and platelet count may fall, with elevation of PT, APTT and bleeding time.

2-   Without treatment pulmonary oedema, shock and acute renal failure may set in. There may be neurological involvement leading to paraesthesias, ptosis, and muscle weakness leading to respiratory arrest.


Treatment should be early to be successful.

1-   Immobilize extremity having wound.

2-   Apply tourniquet for two hours.

3-   Venom may be removed by suction and wide surgical excision of the bite.

4-   Polyvalent antivenom should be administered as early as possible.

5-   First generation cephalosporin and tetanus prophylaxis is also indicated.



  1. There are 2 items that are exceptionally dangerous to be recommending:

    2. Apply tourniquet for two hours.
    3. Venom may be removed by suction and wide surgical excision of the bite.

    There is no snake venom authority in the WORLD recommending tourniquet for any snake bite. Please remove that as soon as possible before you cause someone to lose their limb for no reason.

    Venom may NOT EVER be removed by suction or cutting at the bite site. Not sure where you got this information, but it’s downright dangerous and can lead to much more serious complications.


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