EMET Pre-learning: Toxicology/Poisoning – Bites and Stings
Acute poisoning can present in a multitude of ways ranging from the asymptomatic through to the critically ill patient. Without warning a patient can appear stable one minute and then develop a life-threatening complication such as seizures or an arrhythmia.
Bites and stings are common acute presentations. Fortunately, most are minor and require no more than symptomatic treatment. Snake bites, however, should never be considered minor and require a high level of caution with respect to the immediate care of the patient (application of a pressure immobilisation bandage and splinting of the limb) and thorough clinical assessment, including repeated laboratory investigations and admission for observation.