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A five years old boy was bitten by a Merrem's hump-nosed viper (Hypnale hypnale) in Central Province, Sri Lanka. He developed local swelling, incoagulable blood, thrombocytopenia, bleeding into the gastrointestinal tract, and acute renal failure. Treatment with Serum Institute of Indian polyspecific antivenom (specific for venoms of cobra, common krait, Russell's viper and saw-scaled viper) had no effect on the coagulopathy, which persisted for more than a week. The boy recovered after 27 d in hospital, during which he was treated with peritoneal dialysis for renal failure. Laboratory studies demonstrated that the venom of H. hypnale was procoagulant, fibrinolytic and aggregated platelets. This first authenticated case of life-threatening acute renal failure and haemostatic disturbances caused by H. hypnale, a species responsible for 27% of snake bites in Sri Lanka, demonstrates the need for a new antivenom with specific activity against the venom of this species.


Journal article


Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg

Publication Date





209 - 212


Acute Kidney Injury, Animals, Blood Coagulation Disorders, Child, Preschool, Fibrinolysis, Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage, Humans, Male, Platelet Aggregation, Snake Bites, Thrombocytopenia, Viper Venoms, Viperidae