Severe coagulopathy in Merrem's hump-nosed pit viper (Hypnale hypnale) envenoming unresponsive to fresh frozen plasma: A case report

Harendra Kumara, Nimal Seneviratne, Dilini S Jayaratne, Sisira Siribaddana, Geoffrey K Isbister, Anjana Silva
Toxicon: Official Journal of the International Society on Toxinology 2019 March 15, 163: 19-22
The Merrem's hump-nosed viper (H. hypnale) causes many snakebites in South India and Sri Lanka. At present no antivenom is available for envenomings by this snake. A 42-year-old male bitten by a large H. hypnale, presented within 30 min of the bite and had a cardiac arrest soon after admission. This responded to standard advanced life support, but he had an unrecordably high international normalised ratio (INR), activated partial thromboplastin time and unrecordably low fibrinogen, consistent with a complete venom-induced consumption coagulopathy. In the absence of antivenom, a total of 1680ml of fresh frozen plasma (FFP) was transfused 5.5 and 16 h post-bite. The coagulopathy did not improve with the administration of FFP and a further elevation of D-Dimer after FFP suggested consumption of transfused clotting factors. The coagulopathy resolved after 72 h. The patient did not develop any bleeding complications, acute kidney injury or evidence of thrombotic microangiopathy and was discharged 8 days after the bite. This case suggests that early FFP for VICC in H. hypnale envenoming may worsen the coagulopathy in the absence of antivenom and cannot be recommended.

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