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Revista de la Facultad de Medicina

versão impressa ISSN 0120-0011


SARMIENTO, Karen et al. Epidemiological characterization of ophidian accidents in a Colombian tertiary referral hospital. Retrospective study 2004-2014. [online]. 2018, vol.66, n.2, pp.153-158. ISSN 0120-0011.


In Colombia, there are 5 000 cases of ophidism per year. This is a public health issue that causes mortality in 8% of cases and disability in 10% due to inadequate clinical attention.


To describe the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of patients diagnosed with ophidic accident in a tertiary hospital in Colombia.

Materials and methods:

A review of clinical charts that included a diagnosis of ophidism during the 2004-2014 period was made at Hospital Universitario de La Samaritana Empresa Social del Estado. The frequency of the variables associated with snake bites, previous treatment and in-hospital management was analyzed.


42 medical charts were reviewed. Ophidism predominated in male farmers, who presented with bites in the lower limbs and were initially treated by medicine men/women. 90% of patients developed superinfections, 30% wound culture, 74% received antibiotics, 50% underwent fasciotomy and 95.2% were given antivenin.


Significant variability in the management of patients, discrepancy in antivenin dose and in classification of poisoning severity were observed throughout the study, as well as a high incidence of infections despite antibiotic schemes and surgical procedures. Medical management of ophidic accidents must be continuously updated to reduce disability and mortality in patients.

Palavras-chave : Antivenins; Snake Bites; Tertiary Healthcare; Epidemiology; Public Health (MeSH).

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