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ARTICLE
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 112-115

An audit of snake bite injuries seen at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital Sokoto, Nigeria


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

Correspondence Address:
E H Njoku
Department of Medicine, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Snakebite is an important but often overlooked medical problem worldwide. This work is an audit of snakebite injuries in Sokoto, North West Nigeria using hospital-based data. METHODOLOGY: A retrospective analysis of the records of all adult patients with snakebite managed at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital Sokoto, North West Nigeria from January 2000 to December 2004 was carried out. Information retrieved included demographic and clinical data. RESULTS: Seventy three patients made up of 55 males (75.3%) and 18 females (24.7%) were involved. Male to female ratio was 3:1. Snakebite constituted 1.7 per 1000 hospital admissions and 12.7 per 1000 medical admissions. 82.2% of the patients were between 15 and 40 years of age. 89% of the bites were between the months of March and October. 54.8% of the patients were bitten in the home environment while 39.7% were bitten in the bush. The lower limbs were the most common sites of bite (58.9%). Most( 63%) of the bites occurred during the daytime. 50.7% of the patients showed signs of envenomation while 64.4% received antivenom. Majority of the patients survived and 2.7% of the patients died. The outcome was unknown in 26.0% of patients. CONCLUSION: Snakebite constitutes an important cause of hospital admission and occurs mainly during the rainy season which coincides with the period of intense farming activities in the study population. The build up commences during the period of intense heat. Envenomation status of patients need to be accurately determined to avoid excessive use of antivenoms with the attendant risk to patients.


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