LSTM Home > LSTM Research > LSTM Online Archive

Frequent and potentially fatal envenoming by hump-nosed pit vipers (Hypnale hypnale and H. nepa) in Sri Lanka: lack of effective antivenom

Ariaratnam, C. A., Thuraisingam, V., Kularatne, S. A. M., Sheriff, M. H. R., Theakston, R.David G., de Silva, A. and Warrell, D. A. (2008) 'Frequent and potentially fatal envenoming by hump-nosed pit vipers (Hypnale hypnale and H. nepa) in Sri Lanka: lack of effective antivenom'. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Vol 102, Issue 11, pp. 1120-1126.

Full text not available from this repository.


In a prospective study of snake bites involving 10 hospitals in Sri Lanka, 302 (35%) of 860 patients with bites by identified snakes proved to have been bitten by hump-nosed pit vipers (301 by Hypnole hypnole and 1 by H. nepa). Most victims were mates aged between 11 years and 50 years who had been bitten on their feet or ankles white walking at night close to their homes. There was local. swelling in 276 (91%) and Local necrosis in 48 (16%). Eleven (4%) required amputation of fingers or toes and 12 (4%) received skin grafts. In 117 patients (39%) blood incoagulability was first detected between 15 min and 48h after the bite, and in 116 of them this was present on admission to hospital. Spontaneous systemic bleeding was observed in 55 patients (18%). Acute renal failure developed in 10%, five of whom died to give an overall case fatality rate of 1.7%. Thus, bites by hump-nosed pit vipers can cause debilitating Local and fatal systemic envenoming. In Sri Lanka and southwestern India where bites by these snakes are common, the only available antivenoms (raised against cobra, krait, Russell's viper and saw-scaled viper venoms) are ineffective and carry a high risk of reactions. Crown Copyright (C) 2008 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical. Medicine and Hygiene. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: hump-nosed pit viper hypnale hypnale snake bite antihaemostatic disorder acute renal failure antivenom sri lanka bites coagulopathy envenomation fibrinolysis snakes
Subjects: WD Disorders of Systemic, Metabolic or Environmental Origin, etc > Animal Poisons > WD 410 Reptiles
Faculty: Department: Groups (2002 - 2012) > Molecular & Biochemical Parasitology Group
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Mary Creegan
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2010 13:50
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:00


View details

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item