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Snakebites worldwide: Management

Julian White, AM, MB, BS, MD, FACTM
Section Editors
Daniel F Danzl, MD
Stephen J Traub, MD, FACEP, FACMT
Deputy Editor
James F Wiley, II, MD, MPH


Snakebites account for significant morbidity and mortality worldwide, especially in South and Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America [1]. Venomous snakes are widely distributed around the world and clinical effects from envenomation can overlap to a great degree even among different families of snakes. This topic will discuss the management of snakebites that occur worldwide, other than those by snakes found in the United States.

The clinical manifestations and diagnosis of snakebites worldwide and the principles of management of snakebites within the United States are discussed separately. (See "Snakebites worldwide: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis" and "Evaluation and management of Crotalinae (rattlesnake, water moccasin [cottonmouth], or copperhead) bites in the United States" and "Evaluation and management of coral snakebites".)


Although common names are used to describe snakes throughout this topic, the genus and species that correlate with the common names can be found in the following tables for Africa (table 1), Asia (table 2), Central and South America (table 3), Australia and the Pacific Islands (table 4), Europe (table 5), and the Middle East (table 6) and at the following websites: WHO snake and antivenom database and the Clinical Toxinology Resources Website.


The clinical manifestations and diagnosis of snakebite worldwide are discussed separately. (See "Snakebites worldwide: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis".)


Initial first aid of snake envenomation is directed at reducing the spread of venom and expediting transfer to an appropriate medical center.

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Literature review current through: Dec 2017. | This topic last updated: Nov 15, 2017.
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