The prognostic factors related to envenoming are not very well known. This study aims to identify prognostic factors for necrosis in envenoming by Bothrops jararaca. We analysed 779 medical records of patients bitten by B. jararaca and treated at the Hospital Vital Brazil, Butantan Institute, São Paulo, Brazil, between 1982 and 1990: 111 cases with necrosis were compared with the remaining cases. The length of the snake, the bite site, the month of the accident, pain, oedema, ecchymosis, blisters, systemic bleeding, shock, and the use of tourniquet were statistically associated with the presence of necrosis (P < 0.05) in the univariate analysis. The size of the snake, the bite site (leg and finger), the sex of the patient, the month of the accident, systemic bleeding, and the use of tourniquet were independent prognostic factors within the variables tested in the multivariate analysis. The size of the snake was the most important independent prognostic factor related to the presence of necrosis.