Adder bite in humans


An adder is one Venomous snakewhich besides other countries in Europe and Asia Also in Germany occurs. Usually the snakes are very shy, which is why a bite is rare. From one bite are mostly only Snake keeper affected who were briefly careless when handling their animals.
An adder only bites when the snake sees no possibility of escape or feels that it is severely threatened. Touching the snake can suffice as a threat, which is why inexperienced people are not advised to come into contact with the snake.

With an adder bite, the snake's venom is also injected under the skin in small amounts. A snake bite is not fatal to a person of normal weight without allergies to the poison. The lethal dose of the bite is only reached from around 5 adder bites, which explains why there are virtually no known deaths after adder bites.


The bite of an adder is initially with severe pain at the bite site accompanied. A strong one occurs about an hour after the bite swelling on the affected area and often a bruise. Depending on whether the poison gets into the fatty tissue, the muscles under the skin or directly into the bloodstream (rarely), the systemic symptoms of the poison appear after a few minutes or hours.

The poison is a Neurotoxinwhich is why systemic symptoms like Racing heart and Breathing problems, Sweats as well as a general malaise and Circulatory problems typical consequences of an adder bite are. In summary, these are the symptoms of one Shocks. It must be noted, however, that the systemic effect can vary in strength depending on the amount of the injected poison. Often the symptoms are only slightly perceived because there are only small amounts of poison. Symptoms are more severe in children or the elderly, and people who are very light.

More pronounced symptoms occur when the person affected has allergy against the poison is present. Then one bite can make it dangerous to yours anaphylactic shock come.


It is advisable to take one immediately after being bitten by an adder To see a doctor or one Call poison control center. A diagnosis without the associated queue is often difficult. An exact Description of the snake can help figure out which snake is responsible for the bite.
Since the snakes found in Germany are generally comparatively harmless, there is no need to panic. A 24 hour observation is nevertheless recommended in order to be able to react quickly to symptoms that may arise.


After the bite of an adder should be immediately Consulted a doctor become. The call to a Poison Information Center help plan the next steps. The poison of the snake is important not suck out or the affected area tie off. When the poison is sucked out, it gets into the circulation even faster via the mucous membranes and can even get into the airways. Swelling caused by the poison can then lead to serious consequences. So should the affected area purified and immobilized become. If you bite your legs or arms, they should be splinted.

It will be a 24 hour observation in hospital recommended in order to be able to react adequately to suddenly occurring symptoms.

Therapy is usually not necessarybecause the toxin is broken down by the body. A treatment with one Antidote becomes not done to prevent the body from reacting to the antidote. Specific symptoms such as shortness of breath or palpitations as well as pronounced circulatory weakness can be treated and observed in the hospital with the specific medication.
Since the poison can be particularly dangerous for children and the elderly, these groups of people should be closely monitored in the hospital after they have been bitten by the adder.

Is an adder bite fatal?

Fortunately, deadly consequences of an adder bite are hardly known. This is because the adder's venom is very strong, but only very small amounts enter the body with one bite. It even happens that an adder does not inject any poison under the skin during a defensive bite in order to “save” poison for killing its prey.

The consequences of a snakebite are therefore limited to more or less severe ones Symptoms at the bite site itself as well as possibly the whole body symptoms. These can sometimes be severe and result in hospital care in an intensive care unit.

The last documented death after an adder bite occurred in 2004, although it should be noted that due to the other diseases present, it is controversial whether the adder bite was solely responsible for the death of the 82-year-old woman.