Coral Snake Envenomation

Coral snake bites appear as teeth marks that ooze blood. Unlike pit viper venoms, coral snake venom lacks significant proteolytic enzymatic function, so there are few local signs and symptoms following envenomation. Systemic signs and symptoms are often delayed in onset. Coral snake envenomation is not associated with hemostatic problems (23,27,33,35).

Coral snake (elapid) envenomation usually progresses along a neurotoxic course, with occasional early numbness or weakness of the bitten extremity. It can cause tremors, drowsiness, or euphoria, and marked salivation within four hours. After 5 to 10 hours, cranial nerve involvement leads to slurred speech, diplopia, fixed contracted pupils, ptosis, and dysphagia. Curare-like effect of venom can cause total paralysis and death in untreated patients. The major cause of death is respiratory paralysis (9,26,27,33,35).

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