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Open AccessArticle

Non-Native (Exotic) Snake Envenomations in the U.S., 2005–2011

NM Poison & Drug Information Center, MSC09 5080, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001, USA
VIPER Institute, 1501 N. Campbell Avenue, Room 6131, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2014, 6(10), 2899-2911;
Received: 25 August 2014 / Revised: 16 September 2014 / Accepted: 23 September 2014 / Published: 29 September 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antivenom and Venom Therapeutics)
Non-native (exotic) snakes are a problematic source of envenomation worldwide. This manuscript describes the current demographics, outcomes and challenges of non-native snakebites in the United States (U.S.). We performed a retrospective case series of the National Poison Data System (NPDS) database between 2005 and 2011. There were 258 human exposures involving at least 61 unique exotic venomous species (average = 37 per year; range = 33–40). Males comprised 79% and females 21%. The average age was 33 years with 16% less than 20 years old. 70% of bites occurred in a private residence and 86% were treated at a healthcare facility. 35% of cases received antivenom and 10% were given antibiotics. This study is compared to our previous study (1994–2004) in which there was a substantial coding error rate. Software modifications significantly reduced coding errors. Identification and acquisition of appropriate antivenoms pose a number of logistical difficulties in the management of these envenomations. In the U.S., poison centers have valuable systems and clinical roles in the provision of expert consultation and in the management of these cases. View Full-Text
Keywords: exotic; non-native; envenomation; snakebite; Untied States; Poison Center; viper; elapid; antivenom; demographics exotic; non-native; envenomation; snakebite; Untied States; Poison Center; viper; elapid; antivenom; demographics
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Warrick, B.J.; Boyer, L.V.; Seifert, S.A. Non-Native (Exotic) Snake Envenomations in the U.S., 2005–2011. Toxins 2014, 6, 2899-2911.

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