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June 13, 1966

Cryotherapy for Snakebite

Author Affiliations

Galveston, Tex

JAMA. 1966;196(11):1028. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100240162061

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To the Editor:—  I feel compelled to respond to the recent critical commentary by Bierly and Buckley (195:575, 1966). As I have stated before in print, the individuals who use cryotherapy properly in the treatment of snakebite swear by it, and those who do not use it condemn it to the high heavens. I have treated over 40 snakebites with this method and think it is a wonderful adjunct to other measures.The only death which we have had related to snakebite was that of a serum-sickness reaction from the horse serum in the antivenin. This cause of death was confirmed by autopsy findings. In every instance where we have given more than two ampules of antivenin, we have had a serum-sickness reaction which in many instances was more serious than the snakebite itself.The article by Bierley and Buckley will allow a great deal of medicolegal vulnerability to

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