Phoenix, Arizona (PRWEB) April 22, 2014
In 2013, the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) launched the North American Snakebite Registry with eight participating medical toxicology centers. This Registry was developed in order to create opportunities for collaborative research and education among physicians with expertise in the diagnosis and management of snake envenomation. Data from the pilot year were presented in March at the ACMT Annual Scientific Meeting, as the College announced expansion of the project to additional centers across the United States.
Bites by venomous snakes affect up to 10,000 people in the US each year. The snakes responsible for the vast majority of envenomations are the pit vipers, which include copperheads, cottonmouths, and rattlesnakes. Rattlesnakes typically cause the most severe illness. Though fewer than ten deaths from snakebite are reported annually in the US, hundreds of people are hospitalized and experience prolonged disability as a result of their bites. The Snakebite Registry was created to allow for a better understanding of the factors that may influence the severity and outcome of a snake envenomation, such as co-existing illness, medications, and response to specific treatments. According to Michelle Ruha, MD, the lead investigator on the Registry project, “The data from our first year demonstrate that snake envenomation affects many vulnerable populations, including people with chronic medical conditions, children and the elderly. As we learn how different populations react to venom and how they respond to different treatment strategies, we can better target our research to achieve the ultimate goal of improving care and outcomes of people who are bitten by snakes.”
The North American Snakebite Registry is a project of the Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC), which was created in 2009 by ACMT to advance the accumulation and dissemination of knowledge of medical aspects of human poisoning. Data that is collected is housed in the ToxIC Registry and includes the clinical syndromes associated with various poisons and venoms and the treatments used to care for poisoned and envenomed patients. The data held in the Registry is secure, and is de-identified so that no link can be made back to individual patients.
The American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) is a professional, nonprofit association of physicians with recognized expertise in medical toxicology. The College is dedicated to advancing the science and practice of medical toxicology.