Envenomation from cobra bites causes major morbidity and mortality in Asia and Africa but rarely in the United States. We describe two patients bitten by the Asiatic Cobra (Naja Kaouthia)--both successfully treated in the emergency department. Patient 1 was a 23-year-old woman bitten in the buttock by her cobra. Examination demonstrated two puncture wounds. She developed cranial neuropathy, respiratory failure, and coagulopathy 10 h later, necessitating endotracheal intubation and polyvalent antivenom administration. The patient recovered fully with minimal wound necrosis. Patient 2, a 44-year-old man, was bitten on the hand by his cobra. Examination revealed a puncture wound with progressive swelling. Edrophonium and monovalent antivenom were administered, and he recovered uneventfully. These cases emphasize the varied clinical presentations of the Asiatic cobra. Patient 1 developed delayed neurotoxicity, respiratory failure, and hematotoxicity with minimal wound necrosis, whereas Patient 2 experienced a more typical clinical course.
Published In/Presented At
Khandelwal G, Katz KD, Brooks DE, Gonzalez SM, Ulishney CD. Naja Kaouthia: two cases of Asiatic cobra envenomations. J Emerg Med. 2007 Feb;32(2):171-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2006.05.047. Epub 2007 Jan 17.
Medicine and Health Sciences
Toxicology Division, Department of Emergency Medicine Faculty, Department of Emergency Medicine