Snakebites and their Impact on Disability

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Eduardo Alberto Fernandez Ivan F. Funes Peter Youssef


Snakebites represent one of the main causes of mortality and according to some estimations there are three times the number of disabilities in victims of poisoning by the bites. Disability can be classified as total if it prevents the victim from performing his/her productive routine activities or requires long term physiotherapy to recover part of the function. Partial disability can be related to the time, or the degree of lost function related to her/his productive activity. In general, snakebites are classified as neglected diseases, and its study focuses on the immediate morbidity or mortality while the consequences in the long term are less studied. A neglected disability is related to mental health, wherein many victims suffer the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or changes in self-image because of deformities left by the ophidic accident. The review of the topic had the objective to identify the level of discussion of disability issues caused by snakebites and for this purpose publications in Medline (English literature) and Scielos (Spanish, Portuguese and English publications) were explored. The results were obtained around the terms Snakebites and disabilities, snakebites and permanent sequelae, and Snakebites and rehabilitation. The results were organized according to type of disability, world region and type of snake-species. Disability can be the product of local damage (muscle and local tissue loss), or neurological loss reflected in different degrees of sensorial loss or partial/total loss of motricity. Particular interest must be given to the loss of productivity of individuals affected in their muscular, neurological, and mental conditions. Mental health sequelae can also prevent people from restoring their productive activity. Describing the consequences of snakebites in the long term serves a purpose as education to those affected by snakebites in often neglected areas of the world.

Keywords: snakebites, disability, envenoming, organic and functional disorders

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How to Cite
FERNANDEZ, Eduardo Alberto; FUNES, Ivan F.; YOUSSEF, Peter. Snakebites and their Impact on Disability. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 12, n. 6, june 2024. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 22 july 2024. doi:
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