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VOLUME 18 , ISSUE 11 ( November, 2014 ) > List of Articles


Judicious use of antisnake venom in the present period of scarcity

Srikant Gadwalkar, N. Kumar, D. P. Kushal, G. Shyamala, M.Z. Mohammad, Huggi Vishwanatha

Keywords : Acute kidney injury, low dose antisnake venom, snake bite

Citation Information : Gadwalkar S, Kumar N, Kushal DP, Shyamala G, Mohammad M, Vishwanatha H. Judicious use of antisnake venom in the present period of scarcity. Indian J Crit Care Med 2014; 18 (11):722-727.

DOI: 10.4103/0972-5229.144014

License: CC BY-ND 3.0

Published Online: 01-09-2008

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2014; The Author(s).


Context: Although antisnake venom (ASV) has been used for many years, selection of an optimal dose is a debated issue due to acute shortage of ASV in India. Despite evidence for smaller doses, most centers still use conventional doses. Aims: This study aimed to evaluate the effects of two different dosage regimens on the outcome of patients with snake envenomation, using a retrospective descriptive analysis of patient records admitted in our hospital. Settings and Design: A retrospective descriptive case series study was conducted from hospital records consisting 155 snakebite patients from June 2013 to January 2014. Materials and Methods: Patients were divided into two groups: Low dose ASV group (received <10 vials) and high dose ASV group (received ≥10 vials). Various complications were compared among these two groups. Results: The mean dose of ASV used in high dose, and low-dose group was 14.7 ± 5.3 and 4.2 ± 2.3, respectively. In low dose group, 20.5% of patients had acute kidney injury, whereas it was 10.9% in high dose group. In low dose group, 12.3% patients had neuroparalysis severe enough to require ventilator support and mortality rate was 5.5% which was comparable to the high-dose group (15.8% had neuroparalysis requiring ventilator support and a mortality rate of 8.5%). Conclusion: This study demonstrated that the low dose ASV regimen in poisonous snake bites along with supportive treatment as necessary is as efficacious as high dose regimen and has comparable complications.

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