Blindness and scalp haematoma in a child following a snakebite

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Background: Snake envenomation is a major public health problem of the Savannah regions of West Africa. Ocular manifestations of snakebites are rare with few reports documenting blindness as a complication. Objective: To highlight an unusual manifestation of snake bites and its attendant problems Methods: A report of scalp haematoma and blindness in a 10 year old child presenting 2 weeks after a snake bite (presumably carpet viper) is a rare manifestation. Local swelling, epistaxis, bilateral proptosis, exposure keratopathy and use of traditional eye medications were associated findings. Anti-venom though administered late saved the child's life but blindness could not be reversed. Results: Ocular ultrasonography revealed layered retrobulbar collection in the left eye, presumably due to hemorrhage. The skull x-ray showed a soft tissue swelling and aspirate from scalp swelling was bloody. Cranial Computed Tomography (CT) scan done late detected no abnormalities. Conclusion: Snakebite is associated with lifelong morbidity. Ocular manifestations must be treated as emergency. This case highlights the effect of ignorance and poverty in a setting of a common medical emergency leading to blindness and reduced quality of life.




Katibi, O. S., Adepoju, F. G., Olorunsola, B. O., Ernest, S. K., & Monsudi, K. F. (2015). Blindness and scalp haematoma in a child following a snakebite. African Health Sciences, 15(3), 1041–1044.

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