In continuation to our series of posts on “Snakebite Management”, today we will share, what is called Snakebite Management Kit. Although the snakebite mortality numbers for Pakistan are over estimated, snakebite remains a significant problem of rural areas. Many snakebite sufferers are bitten by non-venomous snakes, and not all venomous snakebites cause envenomation. Therefore, it is very important to recognize the signs and symptoms of envenomation and to be well versed in optimal care.
Neurotoxic snakes such as the cobra and krait (in Pakistan) present major challenges and are considered immediate danger to life. Their venom is fast acting and paralyses the respiratory system such that victims stop breathing and die of suffocation. The speed of action of the venom results in many doctors not being confident and equipped to treat such bites at (remote areas) site and most victims are referred to hospitals. This journey wastes precious time and many victims die during the journey due to lack of early diagnosis and/or administering first aid very late. Pakistan has a long history of snakebite cases BUT there are misconceptions concerning the level of snakebite mortality in Pakistan.
In order to effectively manage snakebite case a basic management kit and drug profile should be maintained at site. The kit should include:
1:- Anti Snake Venom (ASV): If the cold chain is adequate NIH liquid ASV is best, otherwise lyophilized Indian ASV should be kept in inventory.
2:- Adverse (cardiac) Reaction Drugs: Drugs to neutralize the affect on heart should be available in stock.
3:- Pain Medication: Paracetamol tablets are the preferred pain medication. Don’t give Aspirin.
4:- Resuscitation Bag: This is vital in dealing with neurotoxic bites. The bag should have provision to connect oxygen tubing with it.
5:- Airway Support Kit: The kit should also contain the improvised nasopharyngeal airway. If possible a laryngeal mask airway should also be available.
If snakebite sufferers receive immediate first aid and transferred as quickly as possible to (suitable) hospital having appropriate equipment and facilities, this will surely save his/her life.
To Your Health, Safety and Prosperity,
Faisal Javed Mir & First Aid to Save a Life Pakistan
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- Snakebite and their types
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- Don’t Overlook these Requirements!
1:- Successful Revival of Neurotoxic Snake Bite by Artificial Ventilation and Anticholinesterases by Akram Sheikh and Khurshid.
2:- Management of Vipride Snake Bite by Akram Sheikh and AK Ansari.
3:- Guidelines for Management of Snake Bite Cases by B Khan and Naseem A.
4:- Snake Bite Experiences at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences by Zafar J, Aziz S, Hamid B, Qayyum A, Alam MT, Qazi RA.
5:- Snake Bite in the Thar Desert by Suleman MM, Shahab MA, Rab MA.
6:- Snake Bite Treatment with Particular Reference to Neurotoxicity and the Ideal Hospital Snake Bite Kit by Naeem A Quraishi.