Bites - snakes
Snake bites occur when a snake bites the skin, and are medical emergencies if the snake is poisonous.
Snake bites can be deadly if not treated quickly. Children are at higher risk for death or serious complications due to snake bites because of their smaller body size.
The right antivenom can save a person's life. Getting to an emergency room as quickly as possible is very important. If properly treated, many snake bites will not have serious effects.
Poisonous snake bites include bites by any of the following:
All snakes will bite when threatened or surprised, but most will usually avoid people if possible and only bite as a last resort.
Snakes found in and near water are often mistaken as being poisonous. Most species of snake are harmless and many bites are not life-threatening, but unless you are absolutely sure that you know the species, treat it seriously.
Tintinalli JE, Kelen GD, Stapczynski JS, Ma OJ, Cline DM. Reptile bites. In: Tintinalli JE, Kelen GD, Stapczynski JS, Ma OJ, Cline DM, eds. Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 6th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2004:chap 195.
Otten EJ. Venomous animal injuries. In: Marx JA, ed. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 59.
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