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November 1946

TREATMENT OF POISONING WITH RATTLESNAKE VENOM: Experiments with Negative Pressure, Tourniquet and Bulb Suction

Arch Surg. 1946;53(5):564-569. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1946.01230060574004

DURING the first decade of this century the use of serums (antivenin) in the treatment of snake bite became widespread, and investigation of other methods came almost to a standstill. Limited effectiveness, high cost and allergy to large quantities of horse protein are serious handicaps to the use of serum. For this reason the continued investigation of other therapeutic measures, such as mechanical extraction of venom by various types of suction, is highly advisable.

Experiments by Dr. Dudley Jackson1 and co-workers have proved that venom of the Texas diamond-backed rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) can be removed locally for many hours after injection of the venom by restricting absorption with a tourniquet and applying suction to cruciate incisions made in the neighborhood of the bite.

In perusing papers by Jackson and others, we became interested in the possibility of developing a better method for extracting venom by suction and also in

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