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COUNTING CALIFORNIA'S SNAKEBITES.

Authors
  • PARRISH, H M
  • DIEKROEGER, J L
  • HALL, H K
Type
Published Article
Journal
California medicine
Publication Date
Nov 01, 1964
Volume
101
Pages
352–357
Identifiers
PMID: 14229743
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Poisonous snakebites happen in all sections of California, but they are especially frequent in Southern California. An estimated 221 (138 in-patients and 83 out-patients) people were bitten by snakes annually, an incidence of 1.41 bites per 100,000 people. However, the estimated case-fatality rate was less than one-half of one per cent. Of 135 in-patients reported in detail by California hospitals during 1958 and 1959, 123 (91 per cent) were bitten by rattlesnakes, one (1 per cent) by a foreign snake, and 11 (8 per cent) by unidentified poisonous snakes. "Seasonal epidemics" of snakebites occurred, 90 per cent of the bites being inflicted from April through October. Males had higher bite rates than females and Caucasians had higher rates than non-whites. Fifty per cent of the cases were among children and young adults less than 20 years of age. Ninety-nine per cent of the bites were on the extremities-65 per cent on the upper extremities and 34 per cent on the lower extremities. The recommended treatment of poisonous snakebites included incision and suction and the 3 A's (antivenin, antibiotics and antitetanus treatment).

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