Objective.—There have been few studies evaluating snakebite mortality in Venezuela and South America. In this study we evaluate trends in fatal snakebites occurring in Venezuela between 1995 and 2002.
Methods.—Epidemiological data for this study were retrieved from the records of the Ministry of Health of Venezuela. Using these data, we analyzed the impact of snakebites in Venezuela during the study period.
Results.—During the study period, there were 266 reports of death due to snakebite; 79.7% were males, and 20.3% were females (P < .01). Annual mean deaths numbered 33 per year. Of total deaths, 24.1% occurred in victims 55–70 years old. Deaths in young children (<5 years old) accounted for 7.1% of the total. Mortality rate by age showed an age-dependent rate, with higher rates in older ages (P = .038).
Conclusion.—Snake envenomations are an important cause of injury and deaths in Venezuela as in many American countries. Surveillance of envenomations is essential for establishing guidelines, planning therapeutic supplies, and training medical staff on snakebite treatment, as well as assessing risk zones for travelers.