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Acad Emerg Med. 2007 Apr;14(4):373-6. Epub 2007 Feb 12.

Safety and efficacy of Crotalidae Polyvalent Immune Fab in pediatric crotaline envenomations.

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  • 1Division of Medical Toxicology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.



Since it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in October 2000, Crotalidae Polyvalent Immune Fab (CroFab) has largely replaced previously used crotaline antivenom. CroFab is more specifically tailored for crotalids of North America and is less allergenic than whole immunoglobulin antivenoms. However, premarketing and postmarketing studies have excluded children.


To describe the safety and efficacy of CroFab in pediatric crotaline envenomations.


Using admission and billing records, the authors identified all children 13 years of age and younger treated with CroFab at a pediatric hospital between October 2000 and September 2005. Charts were reviewed by two trained, blinded extractors. Data regarding age, signs of envenomation, laboratory values, total antivenom vials used, total vials used to gain control, transfused blood products, signs of acute allergy to antivenom, and any surgical procedures were abstracted. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.


Twenty-four patients were identified, and their mean age was 7.3 (range, 1.9-13) years. At presentation, all had swelling, 14 (58%) had a prothrombin time >13 seconds, two (8.3%) had a fibrinogen level <150 mg/dL, and three (12.5%) had platelet counts <150,000/mL. The mean number of total antivenom vials used was 12.3 (range, 4-24). Five patients had resolution of swelling, but platelet counts continued to fall despite antivenom treatment. No patient required blood products, debridement of skin, or fasciotomy. There was only one (4.2%) possible acute allergy to CroFab, and there were no deaths.


In this pediatric series, CroFab appears safe and effective, despite occasional resistant thrombocytopenia.

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