We gathered data on 39 victims of Eastern coral snake bite over a 12-year period. The most common situation resulting in snakebite was erroneous identification of the snake as the nonpoisonous scarlet king snake. While no patient died, several experienced severe envenomation, including bulbospinal respiratory paralysis. We found that neurologic symptoms may be delayed for 12 hours, and then may be precipitous. Envenomation occurs in 75% of the persons bitten by a coral snake. Antivenin is effective and should be intravenously administered early to patients who have been bitten by a positively identified coral snake, depending on the clinical presentation.
Kitchens CS, Van Mierop LHS. Envenomation by the Eastern Coral Snake (Micrurus fulvius fulvius)A Study of 39 Victims. JAMA. 1987;258(12):1615–1618. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400120065026