The Bite of the Iguana

September 18, 2010, 12:14 pm


Iguana bites reported to Texas poison centers. Forrester MB. Amer J Emerg Med 2010;28:817-819.


Using computerized data from the Texas Poison Center Network, this paper retrospectively reviews cases of iguana bites reported over an 11-year period (1998-2008).  The author identified 59 total bites. His conclusion: most bites occur on the hand or arm and do not result in significant clinical outcomes.

Like many reviews of poison center data, this paper lists many statistics that are easy to extract from the database but — especially given the small number of cases — are really meaningless.  So what that 56% of the patients were female?  Would that be true over the next 11 years?  Why is it important that antibiotics were used in 8% of cases?  Were they necessary? Unfortunately, I could find no clinically useful take-home points at all in these figures.

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