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J Korean Soc Plast Reconstr Surg. 2011 Jan;38(1):121-126. Korean. Case Report.
Song WJ , Choi HJ , Kang SG .
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, Cheonan, Korea.

PURPOSE: Vaccum-assisted closure(VAC) has rapidly evolved into a widely accepted treatment of contaminated wounds, envenomations, infiltrations, and wound complications. This results in a sealed, moist environment where tissue is given the opportunity to survive as edema is removed and perfusion is increased. Many plastic surgeons now place a VAC device directly over the fasciotomy site at the time of the initial procedure. Large amounts of the fluid are withdrawn, and fasciotomies can be closed primarily sooner. This study was designed to observe the effect of VAC in preventing complications in snake bitten hands. METHODS: In our study of three cases of snake bite, three of them underwent the VAC treatment & fasciotomy of the wound in the hand. This cases, the posterior compartment of the hand was bitten for a few days, releasing incisions were made of the posterior hand and 125mmHg of continuous vacuum was applied to fasciomy incision site and the biting wound. The dressings were changed three times per week. RESULTS: Our study examining the effects of applied vacuum in preventing snake bite wounds showed that the incidence of tissue necrosis and compartment syndrome was significantly lower for vacuum-treated wounds than for conservative wounds. Serum myoglobin, CK-MB, and CPK levels measured after fasciotomy incision were significantly decreased. We obtained satisfactory results from early dorsal fasciotomy, drainage of the edema with the VAC system, and then primary closure. The postoperative course was uneventful. CONCLUSION: Envenomation is a term implying that sufficient venom has been introduced into the body to cause either local signs at the site of the bite and/or systemic signs. Use of the vacuum-assisted closure device in snake bite can result in a decreased rate of tissue necrosis, lymphatic fluid collection, hemolytic fluid collection, and edema. Early fasciotomy of the dorsal hand and VAC apply is the alternative treatment of the snake bite.

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