Snake venom coagulopathy: use and abuse of blood products in the treatment of pit viper envenomation

Ann Emerg Med. 1991 Jul;20(7):795-801. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0644(05)80845-5.


Coagulopathies are commonly encountered in victims of pit viper envenomation. In the majority of patients these defects improve with administration of antivenin. However, blood products are often transfused based on arbitrary criteria and with significant risk to the patient. This article documents the effectiveness and risks of antivenin administration and the risks of blood product transfusion. We recommend that blood products not be used except for clearly defined clinical indications.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antivenins / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / etiology*
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / immunology
  • Blood Platelets / immunology
  • Child
  • Crotalid Venoms / poisoning*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Snake Bites / therapy*
  • Tetanus Toxoid / adverse effects*
  • Tetanus Toxoid / immunology


  • Antivenins
  • Crotalid Venoms
  • Tetanus Toxoid