Wednesday, 3 August 2016

What not to do in snake poisoning

What not to do in snake poisoning New Delhi, August 02, 2016: In the monsoon season, snake bites are common. Most of these bites are by non–poisonous snakes. In a country like India, most people are misled by Bollywood movies showing a typical scene where the hero saves the heroine by giving an incision and then he sucks the poison and spits it out. "This is what should not be done", said Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal – President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Honorary Secretary General IMA. Dr. Aggarwal said that methods such as incision, oral sucking, mechanical sucking devices, cryotherapy, surgery and electric shock therapies have been widely used but are medically not recommended. A common misconception depicted in the movies is that one should apply tourniquet, suck out the poison and spit it out. Medically, this approach is strongly discouraged as it can damage the nerves, tendons, blood vessels and lead to infections. Venom removed by suction is minimal and clinically does not prevent snake bite complications. Many studies have shown that mechanical suction device reduces the total body venom burden by only 2%. First aid involves removing the patient from the vicinity of the snake. Keep the patient warm, rested and reassured. The wound should be cleaned with soap and water. One should not give drugs and alcohol as it may confound with clinical assessment. Efforts should be made to identify the snake and the patient should be transported to the nearest medical facility as quickly as possible.

1 comment:

  1. A tourniquet can be applied which is tight enough to block the lymphatic and venous flow,but it should be released every 5 minutes and then tied again.Stimulants like coffee should not be given if the patient experiences sleepiness which could be a symptom of neurotoxicity clinically reflected as ptosis.Keeping the bitten part of body in a dependent position.At the time of bite its not necessary that the fangs of the snake is filled with adequate amounts of venom,or there may not be any if the snake has had some snacks.They may be non venomous also.Bite of the snake also may not be accurate and precise,so the volume of venom injected can vary.Some venom may spill out.Some people believe that if the patient grabs the snake and bite it back,the effect of snake poisoning can go away.This is some folk lore.There may be adentulus snakes,whose fangs have fallen off.There is enough scope for optimism,in a case of snake bite.