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VOLUME 24 , ISSUE 10 ( October, 2020 ) > List of Articles


Plasmapheresis for Pulmonary Hemorrhage Following Viperine Snakebite: Case Report with Review of Literature

Vinay Sakhuja

Citation Information : Sakhuja V. Plasmapheresis for Pulmonary Hemorrhage Following Viperine Snakebite: Case Report with Review of Literature. Indian J Crit Care Med 2020; 24 (10):986-990.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-23635

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 27-01-2021

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2020; The Author(s).


Introduction: Snakebites are one of the commonest occupational hazards in tropical countries and viperine bites are potential to cause systemic toxicity. Coagulopathies and acute kidney injury (AKI) have been documented and easily dealt with in past, but pulmonary hemorrhage has been rarely seen and plasmapheresis has shown promising result for the same. This case reports highlight the effective use of plasmapheresis for pulmonary hemorrhage post-snakebite. Background: Viperine snakebite has been associated with high morbidity and mortality due to its toxic systemic envenomization. The important systemic manifestations are coagulopathy, neuromuscular paralysis, AKI, myotoxicity, and cardiovascular collapse. Antivenomization, renal replacement therapy, steroids, and other supportive care are considered to be the mainstay of treatment till date. Pulmonary hemorrhage has been an unusual manifestation of viper bite and rarely reported and steroids have been used in such scenario but with mixed results. Role of plasmapheresis has been documented in the management of snakebite but especially for hematological problems and in limb preservation/salvage strategies. The use of same, for pulmonary hemorrhage has not been studied yet. Here, we present a rare case of pulmonary hemorrhage along with renal failure following viper bite which was successfully treated with plasmapheresis. To the best of our knowledge, it is a rare presentation and has not been reported in the literature reviewed till date. Case description: A previously healthy, 36-year-old man presented to our hospital 48 hours after a viper bite. He developed local as well systemic manifestations evident as hemolysis and renal failure. Gradually, he started having hemoptysis followed by respiratory failure requiring ventilatory support. CT chest done was s/o bilateral pulmonary hemorrhages correlating clinically with ongoing tracheal bleed. He had no other bleeding manifestations and had normal coagulation profile. He was initially treated with methylprednisolone therapy, but then did not show any improvement and finally plasmapheresis was done as rescue therapy. Following this, he had improvement in respiratory parameters and settling tracheal bleed with resolution of radiological changes. He was successfully weaned off from the ventilation and also his renal failure also improved with near normalization of pulmonary and renal functions. Conclusion: This case highlights the unusual presentation of pulmonary hemorrhage in a patient with viperine bite with normal coagulation and was aggressively managed with plasmapheresis. Hence, plasmapheresis can be used as life-saving modality in patients with systemic envenomization post-viperine bit.

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