A retrospective review of rattlesnake bites in 100 children

Norberto Sotelo-Cruz*, Norberto Gómez-Rivera

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: A retrospective review of clinical features and treatment of children hospitalized for rattlesnake bite. METHODS: One hundred clinical records were reviewed. Variables included: age, gender, season of the year, signs, symptoms, poisoning grade, complications, treatment and sequelae. RESULTS: Fifty-nine percent were males and 37% were less than 5 years of age; 87% occurred in rural areas; 63% of the snakebites occurred during the summer, of them, 39% occurred within the perimeter of the domicile and 8% within the home. Sixty-seven percent of children bitten by snakes reached the second degree of envenomation. During the first period (1977-1996), treatment for intoxication included treatment with polyvalent equine anti-snake venom serum. During the second period (1997-2014, a polyvalent polyclonal horse anti-snake venom F(Ab) was used. The second period hospitalization time was reduced to 3.9 days (P<0.0001). Hematological complications dominated during the first period (P=0.093) with wound infections occurring in 26% of the cases, neurological symptoms in 24 %, fasciotomy in 6% and mortality in 1%. The second degree poisoning was more frequent and was more severe in 7% of the patients. It was determined that the best treatment for snakebite was F(Ab') 2 therapy. Mortality occurred in 1% of the cases. CONCLUSIONS: Rattlesnake (Crotalus sp.) bite, in Mexico is less frequent as compared to other crotalidae species. The hematological complications are more frequent. We did not observe any recurrent phenomenons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-128
Number of pages8
JournalMinerva Pediatrica
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:


  • Child
  • Complications
  • Crotalus
  • Snake bites


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