Adder bites

Ihopringlad huggorm.

© Matton Collection/Johnér

Yearly, about 200 patients are treated at hospitals in Sweden after bites from the adder, Vipera berus, the only domestic venomous snake in Sweden. Moderate or serious symptoms occur in 20-30% of those patients. Sometimes no symptoms occur, which depends on if the snake has injected venom or not.

Adder bites often results in severe local pain and progressive swelling and a bluish discoloration. In serious cases early general symptoms might include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, hypotension, cardiac disturbances, impaired consciousness.

In case of adder bite

  • Keep the person calm and at rest with the bitten body part preferably elevated.
  • Call the Poison Centre or a doctor for advise.
  • All persons with an adder bite should obtain medical attention.
  • A person with progressive general symptoms must seek medical attention immediately. Call 112 for an ambulance.

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