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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Clinical characteristics of children with snakebite poisoning and management of complications in the pediatric intensive care unit.

BACKGROUND: Venomous snakebite is an emergency condition with high morbidity and mortality in childhood. Nearly all venomous snakes in Turkey are members of the Viperidae family and show poisonous local and hematotoxic effects. METHODS: A total of 77 children (mean age 9.9 +/- 2.9 years; age range 3-14 years) with venomous snakebites were investigated. General characteristics of the children, species of the snakes, localization of the bite, clinical and laboratory findings, treatment approaches, complications and prognosis were evaluated. RESULTS: The male to female ratio was 1. 4. Ninety-one per cent of cases were from rural areas. Most of the bites were seen in May and June. Mean duration between snakebites and admissions to our department was 13 +/- 6.5 h. According to a clinical grading score, 57.1% of patients presented to us as grade II. Mean leukocyte count, aspartate aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, creatinine phosphokinase and protrombin time levels were above the normal ranges and mean activated partial tromboplastin time was below the normal range. Platelet counts inversely correlated with the grading score and duration of hospitalization. The most common complication that occurred during the treatment was tissue necrosis (13%). The mean hospital stay time was 6.3 +/- 6 days. Three children with disseminated intravascular coagulation died. Fasciotomies were performed to seven (9.1%) children due to compartment syndrome. Of 10 children with tissue necrosis, three (3.9%) had finger amputation and seven (9.1%) had toe amputation. Higher grading score on admission, platelet count below 120 000/mm3, AST over 50 IU/L and existence of evident ecchymosis were found as significant risk factors for development of serious complications by logistic regression analysis. CONCLUSIONS: Snakebite poisoning is an emergency medical condition that is particularly important in childhood. The envenomations are still considerable public health problems with a high morbidity and mortality in rural areas of Turkey.[1]


  1. Clinical characteristics of children with snakebite poisoning and management of complications in the pediatric intensive care unit. Ozay, G., Bosnak, M., Ece, A., Davutoglu, M., Dikici, B., Gurkan, F., Bosnak, V., Haspolat, K. Pediatrics international : official journal of the Japan Pediatric Society. (2005) [Pubmed]
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