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Case Reports in Critical Care
Volume 2017, Article ID 5021924, 3 pages
Case Report

An Unexpected Case of Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) Bite in Switzerland

Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Lucerne Cantonal Hospital, Lucerne, Switzerland

Correspondence should be addressed to Luca Cioccari; moc.liamg@iraccoic.acul

Received 6 April 2017; Revised 16 June 2017; Accepted 2 July 2017; Published 31 July 2017

Academic Editor: Mehmet Doganay

Copyright © 2017 Verena Quarch et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mambas (genus Dendroaspis) are among the most feared venomous African snakes. Without medical treatment, mamba bites are frequently fatal. First-aid treatment includes lymphatic retardation with the pressure immobilization technique. Medical management comprises continuous monitoring, securing patency of the airway, ensuring adequate ventilation, symptomatic measures, and administration of specific antivenin. We report an unusual case of a snake breeder bitten by a black mamba in Switzerland, report the clinical course, and review the lifesaving emergency management of mamba bites. This case highlights the importance of early antivenin administration and suggests that emergency and critical care physicians as well as first responders all around the world should be familiar with clinical toxinology of exotic snake bites as well as with the logistics to most rapidly make the specific antivenin available.