Snake Bite

Spotted python (Antaresia maculosa). Taken at ...Image via Wikipedia

A large chunk of death is due to fear after a snake bite.This is due to shock following fear.Most of the bites are from non-poisonous snakes.Snakes are there for ecological balance.They are friend of farmer in the sense that they protect his grains from rats by preying on them.They bite out of fear only.Otherwise they are on their way.But the look at them is shivering , a chill travels in the spine and that kills the victim.
Personally I am afraid of them.Snakes are either poisonous or non-poisonous .Poisonous are again divided into neurotoxic which attack the nervous system  or haemotoxic which cause disturbance in blood coagulation system. But pure neurotoxic and pure haemotoxic does not occur.Mostly they remain mixed but one component may be in excess to other.
The poison occurs in the saliva of snakes  primarily to kill or paralyze the prey to make swallowing easier.
Symptoms  of of poisoning appears depending on the amount of toxin liberated to the blood stream.That in tern depends on the type of fang the snake  has and other barriers to injection of venom like clothing present.
Immediate symptoms include sensation in body, numbness and bleeding from the site of bite,reeling of head,weakness,frothing ,difficulty in respiration and loss of consciouness.If less of neurotoxin present then late symptoms like swelling of the part,bleeding ,blood in urine,kidney failure and respiratory problems will appear.
First-aid in form of immobility of the part,washing of the part,sucking of venom by person without having mouth injury,taking T.Toxoid and antibiotics are important.Application of a tight bandage above a joint nearer to the bite called a tourniquet is to done which is to be relaxed in each 10 minutes to allow blood flow to the part below the tourniquet  till patient reaches a hospital.
Treatment should commence at once when patient reaches a hospital.A blood sample should be collected for clot retraction test.Here the killed snake if was possible is to be produced for identification of the poisonous nature.
Since the venom contains a mixture of different types of toxins a polyvalent anti-venom is administered after due sensitivity testing and according to the advice of treating physician.
A patients not in so late condition usually recovers.

Here one paradox in relation to dog bite is that there dog is not to be killed immediately and here snake is to be killed and produced for identification if at all possible.

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  1. #1 by Gabriele on July 29, 2009 - 6:16 pm

    It is not usual to encounter snakes easily. I had lived in southern Africa for almost 3 decades and didn't see snakes often. Most were mole and grass snakes on my partly indigenous grounds. The moment, you clean up terrains and keep cats, snakes seem to hide away. Locals who were born in Africa tell you to always wonder with a sturdy stick through farms, fields and forests. The vibration and noise you can make with a stick scares away snakes, as they are shy by nature. Here a curious story I heard from a Swazi who used to collect driftwood: He located it in trees in the Swaziland Lowveld (low country fields which are very tropical) in Southern Swaziland just below Mozambique by the Indian ocean. He said that you must return slowly backwards chanting with a calming voice while keeping an eye on a green or black poisonous Mamba snake in the Lowveld.

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