The 20-minute whole blood clotting test (WBCT20) is used as a bedside diagnostic test for coagulopathic snake envenoming. We aimed to assess the performance of the WBCT20 in diagnosis of venom induced consumption coagulopathy (VICC) in Russell's viper envenoming.
In order for blood to clot, the enzyme thrombin must be generated from the plasma precursor prothrombin. Thrombin then converts soluble fibrinogen into insoluble fibrin. Generation of thrombin involves the sequential activation of a number of other plasma clotting factor, this process is also being assisted by Ca++ and by factors released by platelets and damaged tissues . The time taken for blood to clot mainly reflects the time required for the generation of thrombin in this manner. If the plasma concentration of prothrombin or of some of the other factors is low (or if the factor is absent, or functionally inactive), clotting time will be prolonged. The expected range for clotting time is less than 20 mins.