Author : A, Kishan Reddy.
Clinico-Demographical Profile of Snake Bite in Children- A Retrospective Study from a Tertiary Hospital
European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine,
2022, Volume 9, Issue 7, Pages 1873-1881
Background: Snakebite remains one of the major public health problems throughout the world, affecting several million people each year. The majority of snakebites occur in rural areas and result from 4 species namely Russell's viper, Cobra, common krait, and saw-scaled viper. High mortality in rural areas is due to delayed visits to the hospital and a preference for traditional healers. There are limited studies available on the demographic and clinical profiles of snake bites from rural parts of Telangana, South India.
Aim: To study the clinical and socio-demographic profile of snake bites in children.
Materials and Methods: A record-based retrospective study was carried out at S.V.S Medical College and hospital, Mahabubnagar, Telangana, India. All the children aged less than 15 years with snakebite cases admitted to the hospital from January 2016 to July 2022 were included in the study. Socio-demographic, clinical manifestations, complications, management, and outcome were recorded. The data were entered into a Microsoft Excel sheet and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Services (SPSS) software Version 23.
Results: Out of 58 snake-bite cases, 63.8% were males and 36.2% were females. Most snakebites were observed in the 5-10 age group (41.3%), and 82.8% were from rural areas. Snakebites commonly occurred between the May-August months (60.3%). Most of the people were bitten inside the house (62%), and Most of the victims (67.3%) were lying on the floor at the time of the bite; 40% of the bites happened between 00:01 to 06:00 hours of the day. Fang marks were seen in the majority of the victims (72.4%). The lower limb (44.8%) was the commonest site. Most of the patients developed neurotoxic symptoms and krait (52%) was the common snake responsible for envenomation. Ptosis (86%) was the most common clinical feature followed by difficultyin breathing (82.8%), pain at the bite site (68.9%), and epigastric pain (67.2%). ASV was administered in 94.8% of the children and 82.7% required mechanical ventilation. The majority of the children survived (91.4%) and three children died (5.2%).
Conclusion: Children between 5-15 years are vulnerable to snakebite due to outdoor activity, particularly in rural areas. Awareness must be created among the public on the early visit to health care after a snake bite. There is an urgent need to strengthen primary and secondary health care centers to manage snake bite cases. Training of healthcare providers is also essential to identify snake bite cases when the history of the bite is not obvious.