Snake 'dry bites' are characterized by the absence of venom being injected into the victim during a snakebite incident. The dry bite mechanism and diagnosis are quite complex, and the lack of envenoming symptoms in these cases may be misinterpreted as a miraculous treatment or as proof that the bite from the perpetrating snake species is rather harmless. The circumstances of dry bites and their clinical diagnosis are not well-explored in the literature, which may lead to ambiguity amongst treating personnel about whether antivenom is indicated or not. Here, the epidemiology and recorded history of dry bites are reviewed, and the clinical knowledge on the dry bite phenomenon is presented and discussed. Finally, this review proposes a diagnostic and therapeutic protocol to assist medical care after snake dry bites, aiming to improve patient outcomes.
- Dry bites
- Asymptomatic envenoming