The best data available indicates that venomous snakes bite about 4,700 people in the U.S. each year, accounting for two to three deaths. Because snakebites may go unreported to poison control centers, this number is probably an underestimate. Though mortality is very low, victims can suffer significant toxic effects, loss of function, disfigurement, or even amputation. Most of these consequences can be linked to inappropriate treatment, delay in seeking appropriate help, or inaccessible medical care. Misconceptions about the proper treatment of these emergencies abound. EMS providers need to monitor snakebite victims closely, even when they appear to be out of danger, and use the expertise available from local poison control centers.
The goal of this continuing education module is to update clinical knowledge of EMTs and paramedics about the recognition, care, and treatment of patients who have snakebites. After studying the information presented here, you will be able to:
- Recognize signs and symptoms of snakebites
- Name four treatments that should not be used for rattlesnake bites
- List three indications for antivenom administration and infusion precautions
This course is designed for EMTs and Paramedics.
This CE activity is accredited for 1.0 Advanced CEH by OnCourse Learning, an organization accredited by Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE).
Course Originally Released on:
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Unless stated above, the planners and authors of this course have declared no relevant conflicts of interest that relate to this educational activity. OnCourse Learning guarantees this educational activity is free from bias.
Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module.
For Florida professionals:
If this course is approved by the Florida Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, course completions will be electronically reported to CE Broker as required per Florida Statute 456.025(7). Click here to view your CE Broker transcript and check the status of your CE requirements with a FREE 7-day CE Broker trial subscription. It may take up to 24 hours for the course to appear on your CE Broker transcript.
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