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Rare case of Perichondritis following Snake Bite


Background: Worldwide burden of snakebites is well known. Snakebite injury may present with a range of symptoms ranging from local infection to more fatal complications. However, perichondritis secondary to snakebite has never been reported before in medical literature.

Introduction: This case report describes a left ear bite injury sustained by a 55-year-old woman from one of her pet snakes, a gravid blood python. She developed perichondritis and perichondral abscess despite early initiation of oral antimicrobial therapy by general practitioner (GP). Under ENT, the patient was managed with surgical drainage of the abscess and administration of intravenous (iv) antibiotics. Use of iv antibiotics early on in the treatment as per bacterial flora prevented onset of further complications.

Conclusion: Oral cavities of snakes may have a variety of organisms depending on the breed and feed of the animal. Hence, it is essential to commence broad spectrum antibiotics from the start when wound bites show signs of infection. More specific to this case, due to no previous reported incidences of perichondritis secondary to snakebite injury, there is no agreed mainstay therapy on the management. However, perichondritis if not treated appropriately may lead to potential serious complications. Hence, the reason of adopting an aggressive method of treatment. Management of snakebite injury should be case based, that is, the site of injury, potential complications, venomous status of the snake and environment of the animal are all factors that require careful consideration.

Author(s): Divya Bheenick

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