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Extremity Swelling and Altered Mental Status 

Extremity Swelling and Altered Mental Status
Extremity Swelling and Altered Mental Status
Acute Care Casebook

Denise Whitfield


Snake envenomation is a significant global health problem, particularly in tropical and subtropical locations. In this case, a 38-year-old performing military field operations in South America develops systemic symptoms consistent with snake envenomation after falling into brush. His symptoms were recognized by his unit medic who initiated appropriate field care and immediate resuscitation with intravenous fluids. He was rapidly transported to a local hospital. The hospital administered polyvalent snake antivenom given his systemic symptoms while providing continued supportive care. Field care for snake bites includes removal of the patient from the snake’s striking range, immobilization of the affected extremity, and supportive care. Immediate transport to a facility with snake envenomation management capability is crucial for definitive management.

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