A five-year retrospective review of snakebite patients admitted to a tertiary university hospital in Malaysia

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Abstract

Background: Although the majority of the snakebite cases in Malaysia are due to non-venomous snakes, venomous bites cause significant morbidity and mortality if treatment measures, especially ant-venom therapy, are delayed. Methods: To determine the demographic characteristics, we conducted a retrospective study on all snakebite patients admitted to the Emergency Department of Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM) from January 2006 to December 2010. Results: In the majority of the 260 cases that we found (138 cases or 52.9%), the snake species was unidentified. The most common venomous snakebites among the identified species were caused by cobras (52 cases or 20%). Cobra bites are significantly more likely to result in severe envenomation compared to non-cobra bites. Post hoc analysis also showed that cobra bite patients are significantly less likely to have complete recovery than non-cobra bite patients (48 cases, 75.0% vs. 53 cases, 94.6%; p = 0.003) and more likely to result in local gangrene (11 ses, 17.2% vs. 3 cases, 5.4%; p = 0.044). Conclusion: Cobra bites are significantly more likely to result in severe envenomation needing anti-venom administration and more likely to result in local gangrene, and the patients are significantly less likely to have complete recovery than those with non-cobra bites. © 2011 Yee et al; licensee Springer.

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Chew, K. S., Wei Khor, H., Ahmad, R., & Rahman, N. H. N. A. (2011, December). A five-year retrospective review of snakebite patients admitted to a tertiary university hospital in Malaysia. International Journal of Emergency Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1186/1865-1380-4-41

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