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J Reprod Med. 2010 Nov-Dec;55(11-12):520-2.

Rattlesnake bites in pregnant women.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131, USA.



To determine the number of rattlesnake bites in pregnant women reported to U.S. poison centers and evaluate whether differences in management, treatments, or outcomes exist between pregnant and non-pregnant female bite victims.


Review was conducted of the database of the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC). Exposures coded as rattlesnake bites between 2001 and 2007 were included for all reproductive-age women (15-45 years).


Sixty-one poison control centers reported a total of 8,413 rattlesnake bites, with 767 (9.1%) involving reproductive-age women. Of these, 11 (1.4%) were pregnant. There were no significant differences between pregnant and nonpregnant victims with regard to rates of hospital admission, antivenom administration, or overall outcome codes. There were no adverse reactions to antivenom in pregnant women and no maternal deaths or fetal losses while in the hospital or during the period of poison center follow-up.


This rare condition is associated with favorable short-term pregnancy outcomes in the AAPCC database. In the absence of definitive evidence, we recommend standard management, including antivenom when indicated and extended fetal monitoring.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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