Non-native (exotic) snake envenomations in the U.S., 2005-2011

Brandon J. Warrick, Leslie V. Boyer, Steven A. Seifert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Non-native (exotic) snakes are a problematic source of envenomation worldwide. This manuscript describes the current demographics, outcomes and challenges of non-native snakebites in the United States (U.S.). We performed a retrospective case series of the National Poison Data System (NPDS) database between 2005 and 2011. There were 258 human exposures involving at least 61 unique exotic venomous species (average = 37 per year; range = 33-40). Males comprised 79% and females 21%. The average age was 33 years with 16% less than 20 years old. 70% of bites occurred in a private residence and 86% were treated at a healthcare facility. 35% of cases received antivenom and 10% were given antibiotics. This study is compared to our previous study (1994-2004) in which there was a substantial coding error rate. Software modifications significantly reduced coding errors. Identification and acquisition of appropriate antivenoms pose a number of logistical difficulties in the management of these envenomations. In the U.S., poison centers have valuable systems and clinical roles in the provision of expert consultation and in the management of these cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2899-2911
Number of pages13
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Antivenom
  • Demographics
  • Elapid
  • Envenomation
  • Exotic
  • Non-native
  • Poison center
  • Snakebite
  • Untied States
  • Viper

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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