Snake bite

Q: 1)What is the treatment for snake bite? 2)is antihistaminics & corticosteroids contraindicated for treating snake bite?

A:A tourniquet loosely applied 4 to 6 inches above the wounded limb is often recommended and is not harmful. It can limit sytemic absorption of toxin. Incision and suction is no longer generally recommended but may be used if the patient is several hours away from hospital treatment. The mainstay of treatment is antivenin. This is frequently associated with a hypersensitivity reaction but this is rarely fatal. It responds to standard treatment.I/V fluid therapy is indicated if the patient is shocked. Secondary infection of the wound can occur and I/V antibiotics generally recommended. There is no proven benefit of steroids and some concern they might be harmful. They are of course inducted if anaphylaxis follows the administration of antivenin. Antihistamines may be synergistic with snake venom and should not be used routinely. Again they may be required to treat hypersensitivity to antivenin.


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