Snakebite Envenomation in Central and South America

Living reference work entry


Snakebites can cause life-threatening injuries, sometimes requiring intensive care. The most important snakebites occurring in Latin America are provoked by species of the family Viperidae (Bothrops, Crotalus, and Lachesis) and Elapidae (genus Micrurus). Viperid venoms induce prominent local tissue pathology, which may lead to permanent sequelae and systemic disturbances associated with coagulopathies, bleeding, hemodynamic alterations, and acute kidney injury. Elapid snake venoms, and South American rattlesnake venoms, induce neurotoxic manifestations associated with paralysis of various muscles, including respiratory muscles. Treatment of envenomation is based on parenteral administration of antivenoms. Severely envenomed patients need an adequate life support therapy such as treatment of shock, assisted ventilation, and renal therapy replacement.


Acute Kidney Injury Compartment Syndrome Activate Partial Thromboplastin Time Bite Site Coral Snake 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vital Brazil HospitalInstituto ButantanSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Intensive Care UnitInstituto de Infectologia Emilio RibasSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Instituto Clodomiro Picado, Facultad de MicrobiologíaUniversidad de Costa RicaSan JoséCosta Rica

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