Emergency departments throughout the USA may have some familiarity with the management of envenomation from indigenous snake species such as Crotalinae (rattlesnakes) and Micrurus (coral snakes). However, venomous species may include exotic reptiles whose bites pose substantial treatment challenges due to both a lack of experience and the difficulty in obtaining antivenoms. Two pet cobra envenomation incidents illustrate the challenges that face emergency departments, especially in urban settings, that are confronted with these exposures. It is important for emergency departments to be aware of the large underground presence of exotic venomous reptile pets and to utilise the expertise of regional poison centres that will also assist in the procurement of exotic antivenoms.
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Competing interests: none