What are general management principles for initial treatment of snakebites?

Updated: Apr 09, 2021
  • Author: Spencer Greene, MD, MS, FACEP, FACMT, FAAEM; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Answer

The general approach to snakebite management is as follows:

  • Recognize and correct any immediately life-threatening conditions
  • Provide analgesia
  • Assess for local and systemic toxicity
  • Minimize local tissue damage
  • Prevent or correct any systemic toxicity (eg, hypotension, weakness)
  • Prevent or correct hematologic toxicity
  • Improve limb function
  • Minimize harm from unnecessary and potentially dangerous interventions

Treatment includes both nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic interventions.


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