Nigerian Health Journal

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An Unusual Case of Acute Asthma after Snake Bite

Peter Ogie Ikuabe, Johnbull Jumbo, Ikenna Desmond Ebuenyi, Adebayo Oluwatosin Ajayi, Lukman Obagah


Background Although the cytolytic, neurotoxic and haemolytic actions of snake venoms are well known, the ability of snake venom to induce asthma (as a distinct entity from just difficulty in breathing) is not previously reported in the literature.
Methods The case records of the patient in the index case and a review of existing literature using online search via google, medline and pubmed with the following key words Snake bite; envenomation and acute asthma were utilized.
Result We report the case of a 42 year Nigerian fisherman, not a previously known asthmatic, who was bitten by a snake and developed acute asthma in 30 minutes.
Conclusion Acute Asthma after snake bite in the absence of signs of envenomation is rare. A high index of suspicion is needed in identifying this probable condition in patients exposed to snake bite. There is need for further investigation into the pathogenesis for this presentation.

Keywords: Snake bite; Envenomation; Acute Asthma.

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