A large single-center experience with treatment of patients with crotalid envenomations: outcomes with and evolution of antivenin therapy

Michael G. Corneille, Scott Larson, Ronald M. Stewart, Daniel Dent, John G. Myers, Peter P. Lopez, Marilyn J. McFarland, Stephen M. Cohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


Background: Antivenin (crotalid) polyvalent (ACP; Antivenin Crotalidae Polyvalent; Wyeth, Melville, NY) is associated with frequent allergic reactions. Allergic reactions are fewer with ovine Fab antivenin (FabAV). This study describes the management of crotalid envenomations in patients treated with FabAV or ACP, and without antivenin. Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of crotalid envenomations over 10 years. Demographic data, hematologic profiles, details of antivenin administration, and in-hospital morbidity and mortality were collected. Results: There were no mortalities and a single amputation. Fewer fasciotomies were performed in the FabAV (9%) group versus the ACP group (24%). Mean hospital stay was 3.4 days. No allergic reactions were associated with FabAV. Fourteen of 211 reactions were associated with ACP (P < .001). Coagulopathy was frequent. Conclusions: FabAV represents an improvement in management of crotalid envenomations because of reduced allergic reactions. Serious morbidity and mortality is rare. Coagulopathy is frequent but bleeding is not. Limb salvage is high. Surgical debridement and ACP are contraindicated when FabAV is available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)848-852
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2006



  • Antivenin
  • Crotalid
  • FabAV
  • Pit viper
  • Snakebite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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