Most adder bites in Finland's Lake District caused mild symptoms and severe poisoning was rare

Iiris Nurminen, Vesa Eskola

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    Abstract

    Aim: This study investigated the incidence, clinical picture and treatment of paediatric adder bites in Finland's Lake District. Methods: Data were retrospectively collected on all children aged 0–15 years who were bitten by adders from 2006 to 2015 and treated at Tampere University Hospital. The severity was evaluated with the five-level Poisoning Severity Score. Results: We found that 109 children were treated following an adder bite, which was an incidence of 13 per 100,000 children from 0 to 15. Of these, 75 were under 8 years of age, with a median age of 3.5 years, and 34 were 8–15 years, with a median age of 10.3 years. The gender distribution was similar in both ages. Younger children were more likely to be bitten in their yards at home, whereas older children were more likely to be bitten in a forest. Older children reported more pain than younger patients. Most children were bitten on a lower limb, with minor symptoms such as localised redness and swelling, and received conservative treatment. Antivenom treatment was rarely administered and then only in severe cases or if symptoms progressed. Conclusion: Adder bites mostly caused mild symptoms, severe poisoning was rare and antivenom was rarely given.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1638-1643
    Number of pages6
    JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
    Volume111
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Keywords

    • adders
    • antivenom
    • poison
    • severity
    • snakebite

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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