image of Snakebites in Suriname: Evaluation of the Protocolled Administration of Anti-Snake Venom in a Tertiary Care Setting
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Venomous snakebites regularly occur in Suriname, a middle-income country located on the north coast of South America. Officially reported data on incidence and mortality are lacking. The aim of this retrospective study was to assess whether the use of our national snakebite protocol with selective administration of anti-snake venom (ASV) in patients with signs of snakebite envenoming improved clinical outcome as measured by mortality and length of stay (LOS) in the hospital. Medical records of all patients admitted at the Academic Hospital Paramaribo from 2013 to 2015, before and after the introduction of the protocol, with signs of snakebite envenoming, were reviewed for demographics, snakebite characteristics, mortality, length of hospital stay, administration of ASV, and occurrence of complications. Secondary outcome measures were the development of late complications due to a snakebite. Sixty-eight and 76 patients in 2013 and 2015, respectively, with venomous or potentially venomous snakebites were identified. One patient (1.5%) in 2013 and 29 patients (38.2%) in 2015 received ASV. In 2013 one patient died: deterioration of renal function occurred before protocolled ASV administration. No deaths were reported in 2015. There was no difference in the overall length of hospital stay between 2013 and 2015 or in the total number of late complications. In 2015, the mean LOS (±SD) for patients who did not receive ASV ( = 47) was significantly lower than that for patients who received ASV ( = 29), 2.15 ± 2.27 versus 5.31 ± 5.53 days, respectively ( = 0.001). The mean LOS (±SD) for patients who did not receive ASV in 2013 ( = 67) and 2015 ( = 47) was 4.06 ± 5.44 and 2.15 ± 2.27 days, respectively, which also differed significantly ( = 0.025). The protocolled evaluation of snakebite victims resulted in more patients being admitted to the intensive care unit and receiving ASV and a shorter length of hospital stay for the patients who did not receive ASV, and no difference in the occurrence of complications was observed in Suriname’s largest hospital responsible for the acute care of snakebite victims.


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  • Received : 24 Feb 2020
  • Accepted : 05 Jun 2020
  • Published online : 13 Jul 2020
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