BMJ Case Reports 2018; doi:10.1136/bcr-2017-223765
  • Unexpected outcome (positive or negative) including adverse drug reactions

Achieving Full Neurological Recovery in Snakebite using Best Supportive Care

  1. Genevieve Haddock
  1. Magbenteh Community Hospital, Makeni, Sierra Leone
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sally Wright, sallyeawright{at}
  • Accepted 9 April 2018
  • Published 14 May 2018


A 29-year-old woman presented to a community hospital in Sierra Leone 2 hours after being bitten by an unknown snake. On arrival, she was agitated though alert, however deteriorated into respiratory arrest. There was no local availability of antivenom. The patient remained in respiratory arrest undergoing best supportive care in a low-resource setting for 2 hours 55 minutes before returning to spontaneous ventilation. She went on to make a full neurological recovery. Though spontaneous recovery following snakebite envenoming is rare, this case showcases that good communication and basic manoeuvres can have a hugely positive impact on patient outcome. Alongside this, it highlights the need for staff and community engagement and implementation of local protocols in order to improve confidence and achieve consistent practice.


  • Contributors Report written and edited by SW, contributions and consent gained by GH.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Register for free content

The full text of all Editor's Choice articles and summaries of every article are free without registration

The full text of Images in ... articles are free to registered users

Only fellows can access the full text of case reports (apart from Editor's Choice) - become a fellow today, or encourage your institution to, so that together we can grow and develop this resource

Don't forget to sign up for content alerts so you keep up to date with all the case reports as they are published, and let us know what you think by commenting on the Editor's blog

Navigate This Article