Snake bite in Chittagong Division, Bangladesh: a study of bitten patients who developed no signs of systemic envenoming.
Harris JB., Faiz MA., Rahman MR., Jalil MMA., Ahsan MF., Theakston RDG., Warrell DA., Kuch U.
The demographics, epidemiology, first aid, clinical management, treatment and outcome of snake bites causing no significant signs of systemic envenoming were documented in Chittagong Medical College Hospital, Bangladesh, between May 1999 and October 2002. Among 884 patients admitted, 350 were systemically envenomed and 534 were without signs of either systemic or significant local envenoming. The average age of patients with physical evidence of snake bite but no systemic envenoming was 26.4 years. Most had been bitten on their feet or hands. Ligatures had been applied proximal to the bite site in >95% of cases and the bite site had been incised in 13%. Patients were typically discharged at 24h. Those with clinical signs of systemic envenoming resembled the non-envenomed cases demographically and epidemiologically except that they arrived at hospital significantly later than non-envenomed patients, having spent longer with traditional healers. No non-envenomed patient was treated with antivenom and none went on to develop symptoms of systemic envenoming after discharge. The potential complications and confusing signs caused by ligatures and incision demand that all patients admitted with a history of snake bite be kept under observation for 24h after admission even if they have no signs of systemic envenoming.