Myths About Treatments for North American Pit Viper Envenomation

Treatments Not Proven to be Beneficial in the Management of Pit Viper Envenomation1:

  • Cutting and/or suctioning of the wound
  • Ice
  • NSAIDs
  • Prophylactic antibiotics
  • Prophylactic fasciotomy
  • Routine use of blood products
  • Steroids (except for allergic phenomena)
  • Tourniquets

To learn how experts recommend treating, view the unified consensus algorithm.

Watch Dr. Arnold discuss why he considers surgical intervention a last resort.


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1. Lavonas EJ, Ruha AM, Banner W, et al. Unified treatment algorithm for the management of crotaline snakebite in the United States: results of an evidence-informed consensus workshop. BMC Emerg Med. 2011;11:2.