The EM Educator Series: Snakebites w/ a focus on Crotalids

Author: Alex Koyfman, MD (@EMHighAK) // Edited by: Brit Long, MD (@long_brit) and Manpreet Singh, MD (@MprizzleER)

Welcome back to the EM Educator Series. These posts provide brief mini-cases followed by key questions to consider while working. The featured questions provide important learning points for those working with you, as well as vital items to consider in the evaluation and management of the specific condition discussed.

This week has another downloadable PDF document with questions, links and answers you can share with learners as educators in #MedEd. Please message us over Twitter and let us know if you have any feedback on ways to improve this for you. Enjoy!

Case 1:

A 24-year-old male presents with a snakebite to the left forearm. He is brought in by friends and is currently intoxicated. His friends think he tried to pick up a rattlesnake.  The skin around the wound is dark and edematous.



  • What are the types of venomous snakes?
  • How do crotalids and elapids differ?
  • What are important features of the history and exam for patients with snakebite?
  • What labs should be obtained in the patient with suspected venomous snakebite?
  • What is the management?
  • Who should receive CroFab? Why does controversy exist concerning this therapy?
  • Can compartment syndrome occur after snakebite?


For more, see this great piece from Dr. Katy Hanson at

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