Original Article

Snakebite Cases Admitted to Uluda¤ University Faculty of Medicine Emergency Department and Current Management of Snake Bite


  • Mehtap BULUT
  • Şebnem EREN
  • Fatma ÖZDEMİR
  • Özlem KÖKSAL
  • Oya DURMUŞ
  • Mehmet ESEN

Received Date: 22.08.2008 Accepted Date: 17.10.2008 Eurasian J Emerg Med 2009;8(1):30-34


The purpose of this study is to analyse the characteristics of snakebite cases’ epidemiology, clinic, treatment and prognosis and to investigate the current first aid and treatment methods.


The snakebite cases admitted to our emergency department (ED) between 01.01.1995-31.12.2004 were investigated retrospectively. Demographic data, procedures and biochemical tests in the ED, prognosis of the hospitalized patients, the treatment given in the hospital and the complications were recorded.


The average age of the totally 48 (M/F:27/21) patients was 40.4 year. 11 cases were discharged, 21 cases were transferred to other hospitals and 16 of them were hospitalized. Majority of the patients admitted in spring and summer. Among the 24 patients whom files had been obtained, 12 patients’ snakebite was on the lower extremity, and 12 patients’ was on the upper extremity. Antivenom was applied to 17 of these 24 patients. Systemic symptoms were seen in 6 patients. As an abnormal biochemical test only leucocytosis was seen in 7 patients. Faciotomy was applied to 25% of the patients with the diagnosis of compartment syndrome. The average hospitalization time was 4.2 day and there were no deaths and no extremity amputation among these patients.


Most of the snakebites occur in the spring and summer season. Poisonous snakebites can cause severe systemic and local complications like compartment syndrome. ED approach includes close following of the vital signs, basic laboratory tests, tetanus prophylaxis, diagnosis of compartment syndrome and systemic complications. Patients should be examined in terms of antibiotherapy and antivenin.

Keywords: Snakebite, emergency department, antivenom, compartment syndrome