How long should snakebite victims be monitored in the emergency department?

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

Patients with suspected dry bites should be monitored for at least 8 hours, and laboratory tests should be rechecked prior to discharge. Snakebites are dynamic, and bites that appear insignificant at first can evolve into severe envenomations. Minimal envenomations that do not require antivenom initially should be observed for a minimum of 12-24 hours to see if there is any progression of the local effects and/or the development of any systemic or hematologic toxicity.


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