Patwari Academy videos: Snake bites!

Patwari Academy videos: Snake bites!


Screen Shot 2013-08-02 at 4.28.07 PMThere are about 8,000 snakebites per year in the United States and 10% are fatal (see comments)! If this doesn’t scare you enough to view these videos, watch these videos to see Dr. Rahul’s Patwari’s amazing digital drawing skills. In addition to a brief 4-minute overview on snake bites, Rahul also goes more in depth about crotalids (rattlesnakes) and elapids (coral snakes) specifically.

Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Editor-in-Chief
Academy Endowed Chair of EM Education
Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Michelle Lin, MD
Michelle Lin, MD

Latest posts by Michelle Lin, MD (see all)

  • Bryan D. Hayes

    Much thanks to Dr. Patwari for taking complex concepts and making them much more understandable with visual reinforcement. The post lists that 10% of snake bites in the U.S. are fatal. While other countries have death tolls that exceed even this, the U.S. typically has last than 10 deaths per year from this cause.

    • Michelle

      Hey Bryan: Don’t tell me that post-publication review doesn’t work at all. Thanks for catching this. Yes, 10% snake bite fatality doesn’t feel like a correct number at least in the U.S. Saw this nice review from the CDC WONDER database for 1999-2007 on fatalities from venous and nonvenomous animals in the U.S. (

      Here’s the table showing an annual fatality rate of about 6.6 cases in the U.S. from snakes (and lizards for that matter):

      • rp

        Yes, that doesn’t sound right. I’ll double check my initial sources, but I believe what I meant was that 10% of snakes are fatal – but it was unclear.

        This is one of the difficulties of video based learning – it’s hard to make edits and corrections. Thanks for catching and clarifying Bryan!

  • MM

    Great for all providers, Dr. Nurse, Paramedics. Thank you, MM 🙂

  • MDT

    Probably trivial, but Elapids have fixed fangs in the FRONT of their mouth. Venomous Colubrids have fixed fangs in the rear of their mouth. I know, I know, it doesn’t really change the overall content if the presentation.

    • Michelle

      Wow, I’m impressed that you’d know that! I hope never to get close enough to notice! Thanks for commenting. Learning lots on this thread.

  • Justin Hensley

    On elapids, there is research on neostigmine in lieu of antivenom being effective. Something to consider if you are waiting on the aircraft with cobra antivenom to arrive.

    • Michelle

      Fascinating. Will have to keep that trick in my back pocket.

  • Scott R Snyder

    Trivial, but the Elapid video refers to “two coral snakes” being depicted. The “red on yellow is indeed characteristic of the three coral snake genera found in North America. The “red on black” is actually a nonvenomous scarlet kingsnake (family Colubridae), common in North America and found in many of the same areas inhabited by coral snakes. As such, the mnemonic helps the locals differentiate between the two, so they know which one is safe to play with. Like MDT, I know that it does not change the overall excellent and informative content!

    • Michelle

      Wow, I’m impressed by how much you know about snakes(and by how little I know). Thanks for the clarification between the two classes.

    • Justin Hensley

      Red on Yellow, kill a fellow, red on black, venom lack…

      Only in North America. Try that little rhyme in South America and you’ll regret it.