Latency of Symptom Progression in Mild Daboia palaestinae Envenomation

Published:April 21, 2022DOI:


      Daboia palestinae is the most common venomous snake in Israel. In most cases, snakebite does not develop into a systemic disease. Since the introduction of specific antivenom therapy, the mortality rate has declined sharply. Nevertheless, there is still no uniform therapeutic protocol in Israel for patients who have been envenomated, and there is no current data regarding latency of symptom development. We aimed to evaluate the latency of symptom development after D palaestinae snakebite in patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with local reaction.


      This was a retrospective single-center study of all patients who presented following a snakebite from 2015 to 2020. Patients with confirmed or suspected D palaestinae bite were included. Demographical and clinical data were extracted from each electronical medical record and subjected to descriptive and comparative analysis.


      Sixty-two patients met the inclusion criteria. Their median (IQR) age was 30 (17–48) y, and 75% were male. Forty-one percent presented with local reactions to the snakebite, 29% presented with advanced local reaction, and 29% presented with systemic symptoms. Antivenom was given to 22% of patients with advanced local reaction and 89% of patients with systemic reaction. The median (IQR) time from bite to antivenom and from ED arrival to antivenom were 2 (1.5–2.5) h and 1 (0.75–1.5) h, respectively. Antivenom was administered at the latest 3.5 h after presentation to the ED for progression of local symptoms.


      Our study may support a 4- to 6-h observation period in the ED for patients with mild clinical presentation after D palaestinae bite. Further larger prospective studies are needed.


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