In Practice

Spitting cobra (Naja nigricincta nigricincta) bites complicated by rhabdomyolysis, possible intravascular haemolysis, and coagulopathy

E L Saaiman, P J C Buys


Zebra snake (Naja nigricincta nigricincta) bite is a significant health problem in Namibia. Although fatalities are thought to be rare, the severe cytotoxic effects and debilitating consequences of neglected bites are well documented. The focus of our treatment has always been the urgent treatment of necrosis. Although there have been a few reports of infant fatalities, acute renal failure and mild coagulation problems, systemic effects after envenomation were not well documented. Three case reports of patients with rhabdomyolysis, intravascular haemolysis and coagulopathy following N. n. nigricincta bites are presented.

Authors' affiliations

E L Saaiman, Anaesthetist, Private Practice, Windhoek, Namibia; Member of the Namibian Snakebite Interest Group

P J C Buys, Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon, Private practice, Windhoek, Namibia; Namibian snakebite management expert; Founding member and head of the Namibian Snakebite Interest Group

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Snakebite; Naja nigricincta nigricincta; Rhabdomyolysis; Intravascular haemolysis; Coagulopathy

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2019;109(10):736-740. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2019.v109i10.14103

Article History

Date submitted: 2019-09-30
Date published: 2019-09-30

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