How prepared is the US healthcare system to treat non-native snakebite?

Preparedness grades for each of the ten US Public Health Regions

In a recent article, I re-examined data collected over 17 years by the American Association of Poison Control Centers, and I used it to construct a list of the Top Ten Exotic Snakebites in the USA. Exotic snakebites refers to bites by venomous snakes that do not naturally occur here in the USA. Over many years, the number of these creatures . . .

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November 15, 2015

Top Ten Exotic Snakebites in the USA

The non-native snake genera that most often cause US doctors to consider using antivenoms that lack FDA commercial licensure

Recently, I had occasion to draft a “Top Ten Exotic Snakebites” list, based on 17 years experience recorded by the American Association of Poison Control Centers. (Using the word “exotic” in this context means we are talking about bites by snakes that are not naturally found in the US, so the greater-than-4700 annual bites by native . . .

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November 12, 2015

Antivenom in the USA

Why zoo antivenom is different from what doctors expect

I’m often asked about the use of different antivenoms in the USA: why some can be purchased readily and others not; what the deal is with getting doctors to use them; and why zoos seem to be caught in the middle so much of the time. Here’s a simple guide. (Keep in mind as you read that I’m neither an attorney nor a regulatory expert, just a . . .

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November 06, 2015

Tips for venomous animal enthusiasts looking for the right doctor

Advice from a Medical Toxinologist

Because of their beauty, their amazing biology, and their use in developing medicines, venomous animals are now found in captive collections far beyond their native ranges. Fortunately, accidents involving them are rare. But people who take care of such animals need to be prepared for an emergency, and if they wait until the last minute . . .

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October 25, 2015