Pathophysiology

Crotalid venom is a complex enzyme mixture that causes local tissue injury, systemic vascular damage, hemolysis, fibrinolysis, and neuromuscular dysfunction, resulting in a combination of local and systemic effects. Crotalid venom quickly alters blood vessel permeability, leading to loss of plasma and blood into the surrounding tissue and causing hypovolemia. It also consumes fibrinogen and platelets, causing a coagulopathy. In some species, specific venom fractions block neuromuscular transmission, leading to ptosis, respiratory failure, and other neurologic effects.

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