Venom detection kits in the management of snakebite in Central province, Papua New Guinea.
Trevett AJ., Lalloo DG., Nwokolo NC., Theakston DG., Naraqi S., Warrell DA.
The bites of six species of venomous elapid snakes in Central Province Papua New Guinea produce similar clinical syndromes. Optimal management of envenomed patients involves the use of monospecific antivenom. In this study, Venom Detection Kits (VDKs) (CSL Diagnostics, Melbourne) were used to try to make a specific diagnosis in envenomed patients at their admission. VDKs detected venom in admission bite site swabs from 39 to 46 patients (85%). Thirty-eight of these patients were shown to have been bitten by taipans. In all cases where venom was detected by the VDK, this correlated with subsequent laboratory enzyme immunoassay results. Selective use of VDKs in Central Province could allow more widespread use of monospecific antivenoms and produce considerable financial savings.