Gaboon viper envenomation: An unexpected injury by non-indigenous snake in South Korea Author links open overlay panel
Young Gi Min, Seung Ho Ham, Yoon Seok Jung, Sangchun Choi
Department of Emergency Medicine, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, South Korea
Keywords: Snake bites, Antivenins, Viperidae, Animals, Exotic
In recent years, various kinds of non-indigenous snakes have become popular as domestic pets globally. If the snake is highly venomous, this would be a potentially life-threatening emergency for breeders. In such a case, the specific antidote should be administered immediately for saving the life. “Salmusa” genus (e.g. Gloydius genus) is a representative indigenous venomous snake in South Korea. Therefore, only one antidote for the “Salmusa” genus is commercially available in South Korea. The Gaboon viper (Bitis gabonica) inhabits in the rainforests of sub-Saharan Africa. Its venom is very toxic for mammals. Victims of a Gaboon viper bite could result in die unless the appropriate antidote is administered timely. We report a case of a 20-year-old male who completely recovered from a Gaboon viper envenomation after receiving “Salmusa” antivenom (Kovax®). This report reminds us that establishing an inventory of antidotes for potential toxic non-indigenous organisms is needed to enable successful treatment of emergency situations for public health.