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Haemotoxic snakebite in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: A case presenting with haematemesis

Mark Wagener


A 36-year-old man who had been bitten on his left index finger by a snake identified as a boomslang (Dispholidus typus) presented with haematemesis and hypovolaemic shock. Coagolopathy was presumed, and the platelet count was 2 × 10⁹/L. Findings on upper endoscopy included oesophageal petechial haemorrhages, severe haemorrhagic gastritis and an antral ulcer. The patient was successfully managed using freeze-dried plasma, packed red blood cells, isotonic crystalloids and polyvalent antivenom.

Author's affiliations

Mark Wagener, Ngwelezane Hospital, Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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Snakebite: Boomslang; Dispholidus typus; Haematemesis

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2016;106(5):459-460. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2016.v106i5.9124

Article History

Date submitted: 2014-11-02
Date published: 2016-03-30

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