Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) bite is well-known for its potentially fatal neurotoxicity. However, fatalities still occur, despite specific antivenom and respiratory support. Cardiovascular disturbances, which have attracted little attention in published reports of O. hannah envenoming, could contribute to fatality. We present two cases of confirmed O. hannah envenoming in Southern Vietnam in which there were cardiac abnormalities including arrhythmias and electrocardiographic changes, as well as elevated markers of myocardial damage. Cardiac pacing was required. One patient developed critical multi-organ dysfunctions partly explained by extensive necrotizing fasciitis/myositis originating from an Aeromonas sobria wound infection. This resulted in rhabdomyolysis, disseminated intravascular coagulation and acute kidney injury. Specific antivenom reversed neurotoxic effects of envenoming. Additional therapeutic interventions included antibiotics, surgical debridement, continuous renal replacement therapy and therapeutic plasma exchange. Both patients eventually made full recoveries. Apart from the critical problem of rapidly evolving and severe neurotoxicity, our case reports also emphasises the risk of cardiotoxic envenoming, and the complications of an overwhelming secondary bacterial wound infection. We suggest a practical approach to diagnosis and management.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.toxicon.2021.07.007

Type

Journal

Toxicon : official journal of the International Society on Toxinology

Publication Date

21/07/2021

Volume

200

Pages

127 - 133

Addresses

Department of Tropical Diseases, Cho Ray Hospital, 201B Nguyen Chi Thanh, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.