African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
Vol. 15, No. 3, 2015, pp. 1041-1044
Bioline Code: hs15143
Full paper language: English
Document type: Case Report
Document available free of charge
African Health Sciences, Vol. 15, No. 3, 2015, pp. 1041-1044
© Copyright 2015 - African Health Sciences
Blindness and scalp haematoma in a child following a snakebite|
Katibi, Oludolapo Sherifat; Adepoju, Feyiyemi Grace; Olorunsola, Benedict Oluwasesan; Ernest, Samuel Kolade & Monsudi, Kehinde Fasasi
Background: Snake envenomation is a major public health problem of the Savannah regions of West Africa. Ocular manifestations
of snakebites are rare with few reports documenting blindness as a complication.
Objective: To highlight an unusual manifestation of snake bites and its attendant problems
Methods: A report of scalp haematoma and blindness in a 10 year old child presenting 2 weeks after a snake bite (presumably
carpet viper) is a rare manifestation. Local swelling, epistaxis, bilateral proptosis, exposure keratopathy and use of
traditional eye medications were associated findings. Anti-venom though administered late saved the child’s life but blindness
could not be reversed.
Results: Ocular ultrasonography revealed layered retrobulbar collection in the left eye, presumably due to hemorrhage. The
skull x-ray showed a soft tissue swelling and aspirate from scalp swelling was bloody. Cranial Computed Tomography (CT)
scan done late detected no abnormalities.
Conclusion: Snakebite is associated with lifelong morbidity. Ocular manifestations must be treated as emergency. This case
highlights the effect of ignorance and poverty in a setting of a common medical emergency leading to blindness and reduced
quality of life.
snakebite, blindness, scalp haematoma, child