Snake Envenomation


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A brief presentation about snake envenomation, presented to JFK Medical Center pharmacy staff and students on 1/15/10.

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  • Snake Envenomation

    1. 1. Snake Envenomation Chilla E. Göncz, PharmD Candidate
    2. 2. Objectives Discuss venomous snakes of Florida Explain the process that occurs with envenomation Describe treatment strategies of snake bite, focusing on antivenin
    3. 3. There are many different types of snakes in the world some do not have venom... ...some have enough to kill a human in minutes!
    4. 4. We are going to focus on two types of venomous snakes that are found in Florida: Crotalids Coral Snake
    5. 5. Crotalids include copperheads, cottonmouths, and rattlesnakes
    6. 6. There are multiple types of coral snake
    7. 7. What exactly happens when a snake bites?
    8. 8. Patient Assessment • ABCs • O2 • NS or LR • Cardiac monitoring • Pulse Ox • Mark locations • Splint
    9. 9. Treatment methods focus on antivenin (antibiotics and symptomatic treatments have been used too)
    10. 10. Patient Counseling
    11. 11. Staying away from snakes and wearing high boots can help you avoid being bitten
    12. 12. So what should I do if I am bitten by a snake?
    13. 13. Your first reaction may be to panic and be in knots with fear
    14. 14. But, this will only make things worse.
    15. 15. Calm down. (this can slow down the spread of venom)
    16. 16. Some bright ideas if you get bitten: • Remember: color and shape of the snake • Seek medical attention ASAP • Apply first aid if you cannot get to a hospital immediately
    17. 17. There are also some not-so-bright ideas... (like slashing the wound with a knife or trying to suck out the venom)
    18. 18. Clinical Pearls
    19. 19. References Coral Snakes. In: POISINDEX System [Internet database]. Greenwood Village, CO: Thomson Reuters (Healthcare) Inc. Updated periodically. Gold BS, Dart RC, Barish RA. Bites of Venomous Snakes. N Engl J Med. 2002 Aug 1;347(5):347-56. Kiran S, Senthilnathan TA. Management of Snake Envenomation. Updat Anaesth. 2002 Aug 1;347(5):347-56. Lexi-Drugs [database for PDA]. Version 1.5.1(116). Hudson (OH): Lexi-Comp, Inc. c2009 [updated 2009 Jan 15; cited 2009 Jan 15]. Available from MedlinePlus [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); [updated 2009 December 18]. Snake bite; [about 5 p.]. Available from: United States Snakes Crotalinae. In: POISINDEX System [Internet database]. Greenwood Village, CO: Thomson Reuters (Healthcare) Inc. Updated periodically. Weinstein S, Dart R, Staples A, White J. Envenomations: an overview of clinical toxicology for the primary care physician. Am Fam Physician. 2009 Oct 15;80(8):793-802.
    20. 20. Photo Credits Pierson Hill: Merriam-Webster Visual Dictionary Online: reptiles/snake/morphology-venomous-snake-head.php Mikael Haggstrom: