Mumbai: Doctors told not to wait for snakebite victim to identify the reptile's species

By  A Correspondent | Mumbai | Posted  14-Sep-2017


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Snakebite victims are often subjected to even more stress when doctors insist on being told what kind of snake it was before starting the treatment. Thankfully, this will soon be a thing of the past.

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As many as 60 doctors from Cooper Hospital, Balasaheb Thackeray Trauma Centre and Siddharth Hospital have received snakebite treatment training from herpetologists and snake venom experts. One of the crucial points raised during this training workshop was that doctors should immediately start treatment based on the patient's symptoms instead of waiting to identify the snake — this would delay treatment for several victims, leading to death.

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The workshop was held at Cooper Hospital by the BMC's health department in collaboration with the Zero Bite Initiative, which is working to reduce snakebite incidents. Doctors from Cooper Hospital, Balasaheb Thackeray Trauma Centre and Siddharth Hospital took a part in the training programme.

Also read: Navi Mumbai man kisses rescued cobra, gets bitten and dies

Kedar Bhide, president of the Reptile Rescue and Study Centre, explained to the doctors that the number of snakebite deaths is very high in India, and drastic steps need to be taken to prevent this. He said, "As per statistics available, there is one snakebite death for every two deaths from AIDS and malaria in the country. Doctors should not wait for the victim to identify the snake but start treatment based on the symptoms."

Also read: Man tries to catch 'python', lands in hospital with venomous bite

Dr Ganesh Shinde, dean of Balasaheb Thackeray Trauma Centre and Cooper Hospital, said, "Doctors should keep themselves updated with current research in the field of snake conservation and snake bites as it will help in treating patients."


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