Revista médica de Chile
versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887
ESPINOZA G, Ricardo. Apropos of Cleopatra and snake venom. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2001, vol.129, n.10, pp. 1212-1221. ISSN 0034-9887. doi: 10.4067/S0034-98872001001000017.
Cleopatra VII, one of the last Egyptian sovereigns of the ptolomeic dynasty, is envisioned as a mythic figure, surrounded by intrigues and mystery. Her mysterious death was caused, according to history, by a snake bite. This article shows some instances of great Cleopatra's life and the state of the art on snake venoms. Even at the present time, snake bites are a public health problem in Asia, Africa, Central and South America, causing more than 25000 deaths every year. Most snake venoms have a protein structure and cause neurotoxic and hemolytic effects, altering coagulation and fibrinolysis. The mortality due to snake bites fluctuates between 1 and 22%. Specific treatment includes the use of specific antiserums with highly purified components (Rev Méd Chile 2001; 129: 1222-26).
Palabras clave : History of Medicine; Snake Bites; Snake Venomous.