In a review of five cases of captive Gaboon viper (Bitis gabonica) envenomations, there was one fatality reported. What systemic toxicity occurs from a Gaboon viper envenomation that could have played a role in her death?
Coagulopathy with associated hemorrhage.
Postmortem examination of the patient revealed substantial internal and external hemorrhage with puncture marks consistent with envenomation. In this case, the patient died prior to obtaining medical care. The other four patients described in the review received timely medical care post-envenomation and recovered.
Marsh N, DeRoos F, Touger M. Gaboon viper (Bitis gabonica) envenomation resulting from captive specimens–a review of five cases. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2007;45(1):60-4. doi: 10.1080/15563650600795693. PMID: 17357384.
Contributed by: Emily Kershner, MD on behalf of The Medical Toxicology Fellowship Virginia Commonwealth University