Snake bite: antivenom needed

THIS refers to the news report ‘Hiccups in ASV supply by NIH CMCH runs short of anti-snake venom' (Sept 4). Deaths with snakebites are nowadays very rare in the world. If you diagnose and treat the patient appropriately and promptly, the patient can survive no matter what species of the snake bit him. This is a peak season of snake bites, the report indicated that various hospitals receive about 25 to 30 cases daily during this season.

There are about 3,100 species of the snake and only 10 per cent of them are dangerous. Venomous effects are varied among species but all of them can be treated, successfully. Snake viper's bite is severe: it comes with rhabdomyolysis which is associated with renal failure.

This condition develops due to oedema, myotoxic agents and haemorrhagic factors that is responsible for two types of potentially fatal complications, i.e. acute renal failure and hyperkalaemia.

After viper bites, antivenom therapy is recommended as soon as possible. Successful diagnosing of snake bites cases at an early stage usually helps to save a life.

Viper bites require close clinical monitoring in order to detect early signs of envenomation, particularly in children, in order to initiate specific therapy promptly because venomous dose could be very high for children due their body size.

There is an urgent need, particularly in the monsoon season, to ensure availability of antivenom drugs at an affordable price in all hospitals and medical stores. The government must ensure that all hospitals of the country, particularly rural hospitals, have enough stock of antivenom drug. Antivenoms prevent and neutralise the envenomings effects.


Do you have information you wish to share with You can email our News Desk to share news tips, reports and general feedback. You can also email the Blog Desk if you have an opinion or narrative to share, or reach out to the Special Projects Desk to send us your Photos, or Videos.

More From This Section

Carnage in Shikarpur

JUST the ritual condemnation of incidents of attack on schools and mosques and merciless killings of fellow...

Charlie Hebdo

THIS refers to the article ‘The Charlie Hebdo challenge’ (Jan 27) by Ashraf Jehangir Qazi. All Muslims deeply...

‘SBP taking sides’

THIS refers to the letter ‘SBP taking sides’ (Jan 21). Pandora’s box has opened and credence has been lent by...

Comments (4) Closed

Cyrus Howell
Sep 09, 2012 12:48pm
The only place one would be bitten by a viper in Canada would be at the zoo.
Cyrus Howell
Sep 09, 2012 12:46pm
After viper bites, anti-venom therapy is recommended as soon as possible. Yes, after about the first 20 seconds.
Sep 09, 2012 04:17pm
Amazing title. Got my attention.
Sep 10, 2012 02:19am
I agree with the author 100%. In Thar desert, right after the monsoon rains the snake bite incidents rise rapidly. Hardly any faclitiy exists in the rural areas.