Most venomous snakes in the United States are of the Crotalidae family. Another family of snakes, the Elapidae, are not so common, but their bites may be a threat to zoo keepers and persons who have exotic snakes as pets. Because Elapidae envenomation is not common, signs and symptoms of such envenomation may not be recognized. Elapidae venom, because of a curare-like property, can produce respiratory compromise followed by death within 10 minutes. Antivenin, cholinesterase inhibitors, and mechanical ventilation are treatments to consider in such envenomations. Unlike Crotalidae antivenin, Elapidae antivenin may not confer protection against species not used in its preparation. Identification of the involved snake, by family and specie, should be an early priority. Correct management of the envenomated patient is dependent on the prompt administration of the most specific antivenin available when indicated.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Cobra, envenomation, snake bites