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Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

(Crotalus adamanteus)


The bite of this species is extremely dangerous; large specimens are capable of delivering eight times the lethal dose.  The Venom is strongly hemolytic.  It can cause massive hemorrhage and Hypovolemia (shock).   Abnormalities of Vitals often include weak and slow pulse, other times rapid and weak.  Respirations are often slow and shallow.  The Wyeth Polyvalent Antivenin effectively neutralizes the venom.  10 – 20 vials or more are sometimes needed in severe envenomation.  The sooner the antivenom is administered, as with any case of envenomation, the more effective and greater the results.  However antivenom should never be administered in field, without life supporting facilities , except in rare cases when there is not the option.  Even in such cases careful consideration must be taken as to the severity of the envenomation and the risks involved.  It is doubtful if antivenom will have any effect on the outcome of the severity of local effects in most cases.
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