Snakebite. Traci Denton RN, CCRN. Snakes in Tennessee. Tennessee is home to 32 species of snakes; 4 of which are venomous. Poisonous is not the correct terminology (poison is ingested and venom is injected.)
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Traci Denton RN, CCRN
Of all the venomous snakes in Tennessee, the Cottonmouth has the meanest
temperament. They will stand their ground when encountered, and they will
give you a good dose of venom with each bite. It can bite underwater. All
snakes in Tennessee have white mouths; so do not base your identification
on that criterion alone.
Timber rattlesnakes are a secretive, nonaggressive species. Their main defense is to
lie motionless on the forest floor, relying on their color and pattern to camouflage them from predators.
The Copperhead is a relatively shy snake, but they account for the most
reported bites each year in Tennessee. They inject venom based on the amount required to render its prey inactive. They know that they cannot
digest a human, so roughly 50% of their bites are dry bites (no venom injected)
This is one of the smallest species of rattlesnakes in North America. The
end of the tail has a small rattle on it that is seldom louder than a buzzing
insect and is often not heard or even seen. The bite from this species is
Most bites occur when people are trying to kill or handle a snake. Snakes will always flee an area rather than strike, unless they are harassed or startled. More people die from bee stings and lightening strikes annually .
Severe envenomation: Swelling, pain, and bruising involve more than the entire extremity or threaten the airway; systemic signs and symptoms are markedly abnormal (severe alteration of mental status, severe hypotension, severe tachycardia, tachypnea, respiratory insufficiency); coagulation parameters are abnormal; serious bleeding or severe threat of bleeding.
CroFab is a venom-specific fragment of IgG, which binds and neutralizes
Venom toxin, helping to remove the toxin from the target tissue and
Eliminate it from the body.
Maintenance dose: Once control is achieved, administer 2 vials every 6 hours for up to 18 hours. Optimal dosing past 18 hours has not been established; however, treatment may be continued if deemed necessary based on the patient’s condition.