Prague Med. Rep. 2014, 115, 120-127

Common Viper Bites in the Czech Republic - Epidemiological and Clinical Aspects during 15 Year Period (1999–2013)

Jiří Valenta, Zdeněk Stach, Martin Stříteský, Pavel Michálek

Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague and General University Hospital in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

Received August 28, 2014
Accepted November 18, 2014

The aim of this study was to analyse most important epidemiological and clinical aspects of registered snakebites caused by a native common European viper Vipera berus in the Czech Republic over a period of 15 years (1999–2013). Data have been collected retrospectively from a database of the Toxinology Centre belonging to the General University Hospital in Prague. In total, 191 cases of snakebites caused by common viper were registered during the study period. Systemic envenoming occurred in 49 (25.7%) patients, local envenoming without systemic symptoms was recorded in 91 (47.6%) and asymptomatic dry bites were seen in 51 (26.7%) cases, respectively. Twenty-four patients (12.6% of all bites) were treated with administration of antivenom. None of the victims died as a result of snakebite during the observation period. Native viper snakes usually did not cause serious harm to the patients, with the exception of children. Antivenom should be administered in all cases with systemic manifestations, in children even with serious local affection and administered as soon as possible. Envenomed patients should be admitted to the hospital and treated at least under supervision of specialists with experience in snakebite treatment, who can indicate and provide administration of the antivenom.


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