DOI: 10.1093/bjs/znad258.308 ISSN:

1082 Toying With a Viper: A Case of Paediatric Envenoming Following a Snakebite in the UK

R Chinweze, D Patel, M Rohouma, A A Hassan
  • Surgery


Worldwide 5.4 million people suffer from snakebites each year with a further 2.7 million suffering from envenoming and up to 138 000 people are said to have died annually due to snake bites with three times as many people suffering from permanent disability. The British Isles appear lucky in that regard, snake bites in the United Kingdom are rare with the Vipera Berus (Adder) being Britain’s only indigenous venomous snake. There are just over 100 human bites each year with only 14 recorded deaths since 1876 with the last death occurring in 1975.

We present the following case of a 2 year old who was bitten by the Vipera Berus in the fields of Lincolnshire after mistaking the live snake for his favourite toy at home. He presented with local symptoms of envenoming and was given two doses of antivenom during his admission. Despite diagnostic and operative challenges presented by the infrequency of such cases. The combined care from our emergency, paediatric and orthopaedic teams resulted in an optimal outcome and learning experience.

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