Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

A man bitten by a large coral snake (Micrurus lemniscatus helleri) in the Amazon basin of Ecuador developed persistent excruciating pain in the bitten arm. On admission to hospital less than 30 min later, he had a polymorphonuclear leucocytosis, thrombocytopenia and mildly prolonged prothrombin time/partial thromboplastin time. Not until 14 h after the bite did he develop the first signs of neurotoxicity. Despite treatment with specific antivenom 50 h after the bite, he required oxygen for respiratory failure 60 h, and 6 h of mechanical ventilation 72 h, after the bite. Over the next 38 h, he required two further intubations and periods of assisted ventilation before being airlifted to a tertiary referral hospital. Complications included bacterial pneumonia, pneumothorax, bronchial obstruction by mucus plugs and mild rhabdomyolysis. He was discharged from hospital 15 days after the bite with persistent limb weakness and urinary incontinence but eventually recovered. The interesting and unusual features of this case (severe local pain, very slow evolution of neurotoxic envenoming, persistent thrombocytopenia and mild coagulopathy) are discussed in the context of what is known of the composition of Micrurus venoms and the small clinical literature on envenoming from their bites.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.trstmh.2008.03.026

Type

Journal article

Journal

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg

Publication Date

11/2008

Volume

102

Pages

1127 - 1132

Keywords

Adult, Animals, Antivenins, Blood Coagulation Disorders, Cholinesterase Inhibitors, Ecuador, Elapid Venoms, Elapidae, Humans, Male, Neurotoxicity Syndromes, Snake Bites, Time Factors