Test Your Knowledge: Marine Envenomations in Pediatric Patients

Marine Envenomations, Pediatric Patients, Emergency Department

Marine envenomations can cause a diverse array of clinical syndromes. Systemic and life-threatening reactions, as well as delayed presentations, can occur. The pediatric population is at higher risk for serious reactions to envenomations because their greater body surface area and smaller body mass can lead to a higher relative venom load. Although the majority of the literature on marine envenomations is of low quality, the available literature does suggest that management varies depending on the geographic location.

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Here are a few key points:

  • The pediatric population is at higher risk for serious reactions to marine envenomations.
  • Prompt expert consultation with a toxicologist or Poison Control services is recommended to prevent morbidity and mortality.
  • Basic laboratory evaluation (complete blood cell count and comprehensive metabolic panel) should be obtained for cases with systemic symptoms. For sea snake bites, also include creatine kinase and coagulation studies.
  • If there is concern for a retained foreign body, x-ray or ultrasound are initial imaging choices. If the results of those testes are negative and clinical suspicion of foreign body is high, a computed tomography scan or magnetic resonance imaging should be obtained.

Read the full issue and earn 4 CME credits!

Last Updated on January 26, 2023

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