UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Toxicology

Title: Envenomation

Keywords: Envenomation, Compartment Syndrome, Risk Factors (PubMed Search)

Posted: 4/24/2014 by Kishan Kapadia, DO
Click here to contact Kishan Kapadia, DO

Venomous snakes are believed to be everywhere in the United States except Maine, Hawaii, and Alaska. Most snakebites occur from months of April to October since snakes hibernate in the winter.  Most bites occur in the extremities (lower > upper).  One of the serious clinical manifestation of snakebite is compartment syndrome.

The following are risk factors for the development of increased intracompartmental pressures:

1) Envenomation of small children

2) Envenomation of digits

3) Application of ice or cold packs

4) Delayed use of antivenin

5) Inadequate dosing of antivenin



Cumpston KL. Is there a role for fasciotomy in Crotalinae envenomations in North America? 2011. Clin Tox 49(5):351-365.