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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 148-153

Presentation and outcome of snake bite among children in Sokoto, North-Western Nigeria

Department of Paediatrics, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Usman M Sani
Department of Paediatrics, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto
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DOI: 10.4103/1118-8561.125557

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Background: Snake bite with envenomation is a medical emergency. Children are at risk of severe manifestations due to small body mass. Unlike adult population, there is limited data on snake bite among children in Sokoto, North-Western Nigeria. We described the presentation and outcome of snake bite in children presenting to the Emergency Pediatric Unit of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto. Materials and Methods: Case records of all children managed for snake bites from 1 st January 2003 to 31 st December 2012 were retrospectively reviewed. Demographic and other relevant information were retrieved and data analyzed using Microsoft Excel. Results: Out of 23,570 Pediatric admissions, 36 children had snake bites giving prevalence of 0.0015 (1.5/1000). Male: Female ratio was 1.6:1, with a mean (standard deviation) age of 9.6 ± 2.8 years (range = 1-14 years). Snakebites involved the lower limbs in 52.8%; and at home in 69.4%, and during the night in 58.3% of patients. The highest prevalence of bite was between April and July. Features of envenomation included local swelling (100%), prolonged clotting time (61.1%) and spontaneous hemorrhage (epistaxis and hematemesis) in 11.1%. One patient (2.8%) had seizure which may be incidental, though common causes such as hypoglycemia, malaria and meningitis were excluded by laboratory investigations. Polyvalent anti-snake venom was administered in 29 (80.6%) children, with adverse reaction observed in 13.8% (4/29) of the patients. Thirteen patients (36.1%) signed against medical advice while the remaining 23 (63.9%) were discharged home. Conclusion: Snake envenomation is associated with low morbidity and mortality in our study. Measures aimed at eliminating snake habitats around residential areas should be encouraged.

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