Envenomation

Australia, amongst its most spectacular and interesting physical environment, has many venomous creatures on land and at sea.

On this page we provide links to resources for you to be able to manage most problems.

Snake and Spider Bite

Clinical resource document to advise on the management of patients with actual or suspected snakebite or spiderbite, and the appropriate levels, type and location of stored antivenom in NSW health facilities. The ECI recommends early consultation with NSW Poisons Information Centre (13 11 26) on the recommended management due to the complex variables. In addition, toxicology advice should always be sought.

For current antivenom stocks throughout NSW click here.

Note: It is now recommended to use one vial only as,

"Recent research has found that one vial of antivenom is sufficient for the treatment of envenomation by all five major groups of Australian snakes. In snake bite coagulopathy, serial coagulation testing help determine when patients can be safely discharged but abnormal results are not an indication for further antivenom." Aust Prescr 2012;35:152-5

Latest Snakebite Evidence and Treatment

Whole Blood Clotting (WBC) Test

The whole blood clotting test (or time) is unreliable. In particular, it is often normal in patients with severe VICC. Assessment of suspected snakebite requires a laboratory that can do an INR. Patients should be transferred ASAP to a hospital that can do this test if it is not available within 2 hours by transporting the specimen.

Marine Envenomation

Marine envenomations are quite area specific as are most envenomations. Links to guidance on marine envenomations can be accessed from:

Smartphone App: Australian Bites & Stings: First Aid Guide to Australian Venomous Creatures

This is an app produced by bioCSL – one of the world's few manufacturers of antivenoms – with the expert assistance of the Australian Venom Research Unit (AVRU). It available to download for free from either

This app is aimed for the community to allow you to learn more about Australia’s venomous creatures and what to do if you are bitten or stung. The app includes a 'Be prepared’ checklist, instructions on what to do if you are bitten or stung, emergency services call button, a guide to basic first aid, including the pressure bandaging and immobilisation (PBI) method as well as a state by state guide to venomous snake locations.

NSW Poisons Information Centre

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