Objective.—The objective of the study was to assess the level of knowledge regarding snakebite management in doctors likely to treat such bites in the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong in the People's Republic of China. Key concerns were doctor confidence, consistency of approach, use of anti–snake venom (ASV), and ancillary treatments. Hong Kong hospitals are equipped according to developed country standards, and knowledge therefore becomes the key factor in successful management.
Methods.—A predesigned questionnaire consisting of 29 multiple-choice questions was submitted to physicians likely to treat snakebite victims at all Hong Kong hospitals receiving such patients.
Results.—The key finding identified that only 29% of responding doctors were confident about treating snakebites. In the case of ASV selection between the 2 products available that deal with different species, 66% of doctors either were unsure of which to use or believed the 2 ASVs to be the same. The use of inappropriate clinical endpoints for ASV therapy suggests it is being used unnecessarily.
Conclusions.—There is clear room for improvement in the knowledge base and confidence level of physicians treating snakebites in Hong Kong. Key components of management, such as ASV choice, indications, dosing, and clinical endpoints for administration, were sources of confusion to the participants in this study. The results demonstrate the need for a locally developed and widely distributed snakebite management protocol.