Demography, clinical profile, morbidity and mortality pattern of snake bite cases in children: a study at tertiary teaching hospital


  • Vishwanath B. Department of Pediatrics, Vijayanagar Institute of Medical Sciences, Cantonment, Ballari, Karnataka, India
  • Ganesh P. Department of Pediatrics, Vijayanagar Institute of Medical Sciences, Cantonment, Ballari, Karnataka, India



Demography, Clinical profile, Mortality snake bite


Background: Snake bite is one of the important health problems in tropical and sub-tropical countries including India. Most snake bites present without envenomation as most bites are usually due to non-poisonous snakes and even poisonous snakes can control amount of venom injected. Even though mortality is under reported, India accounts for most of deaths due to snake bite.

Methods: A hospital based descriptive case study was conducted at Pediatric ward of VIMS Ballari. All children with definite history of snake bite with fang marks or features of local/systemic envenomation were included in study. Demographic parameters, symptomatology and complications were noted down as per pro forma and data was analyzed.

Results: Most bites occurred in lower limbs in older children while playing outdoors. Most cases were from rural area. Majority presented with local toxicity followed by hemotoxicity and neuroparalysis. Two children died, one because of respiratory paralysis and other by acute kidney injury.

Conclusions: Snake bite is a preventable health problem. By wearing protective shoes and avoiding outdoor sleep many snake bites can be avoided. Early, aggressive but judicious use of antisnake venom is a cornerstone of management.


WHO: Neglected Tropical diseases: Snake bite; 2017. Available at: diseases/snake bites/en/index.html. (Accessed on 13th May 2019).

Gold BS, Dart RC, Barish RA, Bites of venomous snakes. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:1804-5.

Mohapatra B, Warrell DA, Suraweera W, Bhatia P, Dhingra N, Jotkar RM, et al. Million Death Study Collaborators. Snakebite mortality in India: a nationally representative mortality survey. PLoS neglected tropical diseases. 2011 Apr 12;5(4):e1018.

Warrell DA. Snake bite. Lancet 2010 Jan 2;375(9708):77-88.

Ralph R, Sharma SK, Faiz MA, Ribeiro I, Rijal S, Chappuis F, et al. The timing is right to end snakebite deaths in South Asia. BMJ. 2019;364:5317.

Sharma BD, editor. Indian poisonous snakes. An ecological and clinical study. 1st ed. New Delhi, Anmol publications.

Meenatchisundaram S, Parameswari G, Michael A, Ramalingam S. Neutralization of the pharmacological effects of Cobra and Krait venoms by chicken egg yolk antibodies. Toxicon. 2008;52(2):221-7.

Kulkarni ML, Anees S. Snake venom poisoning: Experience with 633 cases. Ind. Pediatr. 1994;31(10):1239-43.

Lahori VC, Sharma DB, Gupta KB, Gupta AK, Snake bite poisoning in children. Ind Pediatr. 1981;18(3):193-7.

Bakshi, Snake bite in rural areas of Maharashtra state, India. Tropical Doctor. 1999;29(2):104-5.

Virmani SK, Dutt OP. A profile of snake bite poisoning in Jammu region. J Indian Med Assoc. 1987;85(5):132-4.

Hati AK, Mandal M, De MK, Mukherjee H, Hati RN. Epidemiology of snake bite in the district of Burdwan, West Bengal. J Indian Med Assoc. 1992;90(6):145-7.

Chappuis F, Sharma SK, Jha N, Loutan L, Bovier PA. Protection against snake bites by sleeping under a bed net in South Eastern Nepal. Amer J Tropical Med Hygiene. 2007;77(1):197-9.

Ghosh R, Mana K, Gantait K, Sarkhel S. A retrospective study of clinico-epidemiological profile of snake bite related deaths at a tertiary care hospital in Midnapore, West Bengal, India. Toxicolgy Reports. 2018;5:1-5.

Saini RK, Sharma S, Singh S, Pathania NS.Snake bite poisoning: A preliminary report. J Assoc Physicians India. 1984;32(2):195-7.

Hansdak SG, Lallar KS, Pokharel P, Shyangwa P, Karki P, Koirala S. A clinico-epidemiological study of snake bite in Nepal Trop Doctor. 1998;28:223-6.






Original Research Articles