South African Family Practice

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The identification and syndromic management of snakebite in South Africa

RS Blaylock


The identification of snakebite injury is uncertain, especially in the 40% of patients who do not see the offending snake, unless there are paired fang marks or typical findings of an envenomation syndrome. The differential diagnosis would include a thorn prick, spider bite or scorpion sting. Thorn pricks are not associated with the onset of progressive swelling or systemic illness within minutes. Swelling following dermonecrotic spider bites is slow in onset, whilst significant button (widow) spider bites and scorpion stings are associated with muscle spasticity which is not a feature of snakebites.1,2,3

Keywords: snake bite; antivenom

For full text, click here:SA Fam Pract 2005;47(9):48-53
AJOL African Journals Online