KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College,
and Maricopa Community Colleges

Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Study: Less Rattlesnake Antivenom Leads To Shorter Hospital Stay

Rattlesnake bites can lead to extended stays in the hospital and expensive bills because of treatment with antivenom. But doctors at Banner University Medical Center Phoenix started to reduce the amount used, and it was still effective.

"We wanted to not give them those routine scheduled doses after their symptoms seemed to be better," Dr. Anne-Michelle Ruha said. Ruha is the vice-chair of the department of toxicology at Banner. The recommended dosage of antivenom can be up to 16 vials.

"We wanted to instead watch the patients very closely and see if they actually needed those extra doses and we would only use the antivenom if they needed the doses."

Ruha said they reduced the dosage down to eight vials.

In a study of methods delivering antivenom, the hospital has not seen any negative effects of changing its practice. Patients have shorter hospital stays, and both the hospital and patients are spending less money.