Surgery in management of snake envenomation in children
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Snakebite is common in children especially in the developing countries. This study was undertaken to determine the role of surgery in the treatment of venomous snake bite in pediatric patients.
The clinical data of 58 pediatric patients aged 0–16 years who had been treated for venomous snakebite from January 1999 to December 2008 were analyzed.
Of the 58 patients, 43 (74.6%) were male. Peak age incidence was around 2–3 years (28.8%). The majority of envenomations occurred in the summer and rainy seasons, especially in the latter, during flooding. The bites occurred during 6 pm to 12 pm in 27 patients (49.0%). The main bite site was the lower extremities in 49 patients (83.9%). The main species of the snake were Malayan pit viper (Calloselasma rhodostoma) in 28 patients (47.5%) and cobra (Ophiophagus hunnah or Naja spp.) in 21 patients (35.6%). Soft tissue necrosis occurred more in cobra bites (47.6%) than viper bites (3.6%). The most common organism identified in necrotic tissue was Morganella morgagnii. Four patients with cobra bite had respiratory failure that required ventilatory support. Compartment syndrome was suspected in 2 patients. Surgical intervention was necessary in 13 patients. Most procedures involved serial wound debridement, followed by skin grafting. One case needed a toe amputation because of necrosis. The average length of hospital stay in patients who needed surgical management was 18.8 days (range: 12.1–25.5 days). There were no mortalities.
Surgery plays an important role in the management of snakebite patients, especially for those with cobra bite with tissue necrosis.
Key wordschildren snakebite surgery
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