SNAKEBITE TREATMENT IN GOA

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SNAKEBITE? Follow this treatment plan:

a.  Reassure the patient.

b.  If the bite is on the hand or the arm, put the arm in a triangular sling and get hospital treatment urgently.

c.  If the bite is on the leg, put it in a splint to immobilise the bite.  Again, get hospital treatment urgently.

d.  The patient should be encouraged to keep still and move as little as possible.

e.  Treat a venomous snakebite with ASVor Anti-Snake Venom (also called antivenom or antivenin) at a doctor’s clinic or in hospital.  Care should be taken to ensure that the patient is not allergic to antivenom.  20% of all people who are given ASV treatment develop some kind of allergic reaction.

Do not:

a.. Wash the wound; the act of washing leads to moving the venom around the body.

b.. Cut or burn the wound.

c.  Attempt to suck the venom out of the wound.

d.. Apply a tourniquet or pressure bandage (the only time a pressure bandage should be considered is if the snake concerned is definitely, 100% aKrait and the journey to hospital is going to take several hours. If the journey is only going to take up to a couple of hours the same treatment should be given as that for any other venomous bite)

e.. Give anything by mouth except in the case of dehydration.

f.. Self-administer antivenom.  This is particularly dangerous without the ability to cope with any allergic reaction, which has the potential to kill far quicker than any snake bite.

The mere act of sticking a needle into your tissue can cause un-controlled bleeding and oedema (swelling). This is why Anti-Snake Venom should be administered by a doctor in hospital!

These hospitals and Primary Health Centres (PHCs) have ASV in case of a venomous snakebite:

Hospitals: Goa Medical College (GMC), Bambolim.  Hospicio, Margao.  Asilo, Mapusa.

(If  there is enough time, take the patient to GMC.)

PHCs with phone numbers (call to check if Anti-Snake Venom is in stock):

Valpoi – 2374260;
Bicholim – 2362041;
Sanquelim – 2364258;
Pernem – 2291249
Siolim; Aldona – 2293251;
Candolim – 2276035;
Betki – 2287160;
Ponda – 2312115;
Sanguem – 2604235;
Curchorem – 2650566;
Bali – 2670216;
Canacona – 2643339;

Sources:
 Rahul Alvares (Creepy Times)
Clinton Vaz (Wild Goa), 
Suneel Korajjkarr (Green Cross). 

Many thanks to these path-breaking conservation teams for their committment to Goa’s wild life & environment.

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