Hyderabad: Nearly 50 per cent cases of snakebites have been observed to cause death and disability and therefore, it is critical that pre-hospitalisation and emergency treatment is administered as per the guidelines issued by the World Health Organization to India.
A neglected tropical disease, snakebites have caused disabilities to nearly 4 lakh people across the globe so far. Between 1.8 and 2.7 million people get bit every year, and management in the first three hours after the bite has been found to be of prime significance in damage control.
Government hospitals in Telangana record between 1,000 and 1,500 such cases every year. However, it is estimated that there could be over at least 200 cases annually that do not make it to the hospital.
While the highest number of cases are recorded during monsoons, a fair number of victims has been observed to report during summers as well.
Dr Ashima Sharma, professor of emergency medicine in Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), explained, "The aspect of emergency care at the district or community level requires expert trainers from government hospitals to impart training at the district level. We have conducted two such medical education program at NIMS hospital. It is the nurses and community members who need to be trained in the effective management of cases until the patient is brought to a hospital. We have found, however, that the response rate is, in fact, improving in places with aptly equipped healthcare facilities."
Majority snakes bite in the lower limbs and hands. The most commonly observed symptoms include pain, giddiness, and vomiting. If not treated properly, a victim can succumb within two to three days.
Doctors state that treatment within the first 48 hours post the bite is very critical. Most people these days are found to carry photographs of culprit snakes to the hospital to facilitate identification of appropriate anti-serum vials....