Saturday, August 01, 2015

Gila monster envenomation

Results. A total of 319 calls regarding Gila monsters were identified in the NPDS. Of these, 105 (33%) were human exposures; most (79%) occurred in males. A total of 71 (68%) of these 105 cases were referred to a health care facility (HCF); 30 (29%) were managed on-site. Of the 71 HCF referrals, 36 (51%) were discharged home and 17 (24%) were admitted. Most (65%) admissions were to an intensive care unit (ICU). Arizona's PCCs received 70 unique reports of Gila monster bite. Most (77%) of the bites in Arizona involved an upper extremity. Eight (11%) involved patients under the age of 18 years. Eleven (16%) Arizona cases were work-related. Twenty-eight (40%) of the 70 bites in Arizona were evaluated in a HCF, but not admitted. Eleven (16%) were admitted, of which five were to an ICU. Six patients had edema of airway structures; three required emergent airway management, one by cricothyrotomy. There were no deaths. Conclusion. Gila monster bites are uncommon. Many cases did not require hospitalization. Edema of airway structures is an infrequent, but life-threatening complication.

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