Evolution of coagulation abnormalities following Russell's viper bite in Burma
The evolution of coagulation abnormalities was studied in Russell's viper bite victims who, on admission to hospital, showed no clinical signs of systemic envenoming. Based on the laboratory results and subsequent clinical course, three groups were distinguished. The first group, consisting of five cases, showed no activation of coagulation at any stage. The second group, consisting of six cases, developed mild to moderate abnormalities in some tests, particularly in the aPTT and factor V assay, which corrected to normal without treatment. The third group, consisting of nine patients, developed haemostatic abnormalities as early as 1-2 h after the bite, which progressed to severe defibrination 4-8 h later at which time antivenom was given. Comparison of the haemostatic abnormalities in the three groups suggested that serial monitoring of the serum FDP concentration may be of value in predicting the likelihood of systemic envenoming and progression to complete defibrination.