ABSTRACT: Pit vipers (subfamily Crotalinae) are responsible for most venomous snakebites in the United States. The mixture of proteins with cytotoxic, proteolytic, and/or neurotoxic enzymes in snake venom varies by species. Treatment in the field consists of safe identification of the species of snake and rapid transport of the patient to the nearest health care facility. Swelling, bruising, and systemic symptoms are seen following snakebite. Most patients respond to elevation of the affected extremity and observation. Some require the administration of antivenin. Crotalidae Polyvalent Immune Fab (Ovine) (CroFab, BTG International, West Conshohocken, PA) antivenin is safe and effective for the management of local and systemic effects of envenomation. Rarely, compartment syndrome may develop in the affected limb because of edema and tissue necrosis. Close monitoring of the extremity via serial physical examination and measurement of compartment pressure is a reliable method of determining whether surgical intervention is required.
The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 12/2010; 18(12):749-59. · 2.66 Impact Factor