Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms coral snakes pit vipers Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care pain control warning signs Prevention Outlook Underlying Cause coral snakes pit vipers

Bite from a Snake Treatment

Treatment of snakebite depends on whether or not the snake is venomous. General treatment for snakebite may include wound care, intravenous fluids, and tetanus vaccination. Antivenin is the only effective treatment for a venomous snakebite.

Snakebite antivenin types include:

  • Pit viper antivenin:
    • Crotalidae polyvalent antivenin (CroFab)
  • Coral snake antivenin

Additional treatment for snakebite may include:

Bite from a Snake Questions For Doctor

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • Do I need a special exercise program?
  • Will I need physical therapy?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk of another snakebite?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Bite from a Snake Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat a snakebite:

Continue to Bite from a Snake Home Care

Last Updated: Jun 14, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Bite from a Snake References
  1. Dart RC, Hurlbut KM, Garcia R, Boren J. Validation of a severity score for the assessment of crotalid snakebite. Ann Emerg Med. 1996 Mar;27(3):321-6. [8599491]
  2. Dart RC, Seifert SA, Boyer LV, et al. A randomized multicenter trial of crotalinae polyvalent immune Fab (ovine) antivenom for the treatment for crotaline snakebite in the United States. Arch Intern Med. 2001 Sep 10;161(16):2030-6. [11525706]
  3. McKinney PE. Out-of-hospital and interhospital management of crotaline snakebite. Ann Emerg Med. 2001 Feb;37(2):168-74. [11174235]
  4. Morandi N, Williams J. Snakebite injuries: contributing factors and intentionality of exposure. Wilderness Environ Med. 1997 Aug;8(3):152-5. [11990155]
  5. Pantanowitz L, Guidozzi F. Management of snake and spider bite in pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 1996 Oct;51(10):615-20. [8888039]
  6. Terry P, Mackway-Jones K. Towards evidence based emergency medicine: best BETs from the Manchester Royal Infirmary. Antibiotics in non-venomous snakebite. Emerg Med J. 2002 Mar;19(2):142. [11904264]
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