Snake Bites in Adults from the Asir Region of Southern Saudi Arabia

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  • College of Medicine, King Saud University, Abha Branch, Abha, Saudi Arabia

One hundred thirty-two cases of snake bites in adults from the Asir region of southern Saudi Arabia occurring the period 1989–1992 were studied. Of 15 snakes killed, 10 were identified as Echis coloratus and five as were Coluber rhodorachis. The clinical presentation of those bitten by the 10 identified E. coloratus were not very different from cases in which the snake was not identified, favoring the conclusion that the commonest snakes inflicting bites in this region are the saw-scaled or carpet vipers of the genus Echis. The response of adults to bites in this region is generally benign. Patients present mainly with local swelling, pain, redness, and coagulopathy. Minor bleeding was seen in 18.2% of the patients, primarily at the bite site. No serious complications or fatal bleeding occurred. Bites are more common in males during the summer season and mainly in the low land (Tihama). Recommendations regarding management of snake bites of adults from the Asir region are outlined.