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June 1969


Author Affiliations

Durham, NC

Arch Surg. 1969;98(6):807. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1969.01340120155031

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To the Editor.—The January issue of the Archives carries an article by Sparger, "Problems in the Management of Rattlesnake Bites" (98:13-18, 1969).

Studies carried out under Dr. Clifford Snyder of the University of Utah, using radioactive isotopetagged venom in a series of over 100 mongrel dogs, led us to develop methods of treatment that differ somewhat from the suggestions made by Dr. Sparger and those by Parrish and others.

Our findings showed that release of the tourniquet every 10 to 15 minutes caused spread of the venom. We agree with Dr. Sparger that the tourniquet should be applied at a pressure sufficient to block venous and lymphatic drainage but not to obstruct arterial circulation, and it should not be released.

Evaluation of various methods of first-aid treatment showed that incision and suction is a satisfactory method for removing venom. Our best results were obtained in those dogs in

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