Evaluation and Treatment of Snake Envenomations


Advocate Christ


Snakebites are responsible for a significant degree of morbidity and mortality worldwide, especially in low resource countries. There are over 600 identified species of venomous snakes worldwide, with the majority belonging to the Viperidae and Elapidae families. Common names among the Viperidae family are vipers, pit vipers, and adders. Distinguishing features of the Viperidae family include long, retractable fangs, triangular heads, elliptical pupils, and small scales on their tails. The pit vipers also have a heat-sensing pit adjacent to their nares for movement detection to aid in hunting prey.

Common names among the Elapid family are cobras, coral snakes, mambas, and copperheads. The Elapids can be distinguished from the Viperids as they have fixed, short fangs, less triangular heads, circular pupils, and larger scales on their tails. The remainder of the venomous snake species belongs to the Atractaspididae, Colubridae, and Hydrophidae families.

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StatPearls Publishing, Treasure Island (FL)

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