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Forum Name: Other infections

Question: Poisonous Snake Bite Care


 alias450 - Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:59 pm

I am writing a script and desperately need the help of a medical professional so what happens in the script is realistic and fact-based.

In the script, a man comes into a busy ER with a snake bite he got while hiking. He doesn't think the snake was poisonous and just wants to get the bite cleaned up and stitched. The ER is busy, however, and the man keeps getting passed up for more urgest cases and injuries. After 2-3 hours, he is finally seen, and the man's bite is now swollen, the skin around the bite is discolored, he is sweating perfusely, he vomits, and then begins to convulse.

What would a doctor do at this point to try to save the man's life?
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:54 am

User avatar Hi,
With all due respects,it will not be proper for a patient with a history of snake bite to dictate what needs to be done for him/her in a ER(busy or otherwise).No ER doctor would have stitched his wound (as requested by 'the man' in the script) for the simple reason that it is contraindicated in cases of snake bites.

If an ER doctor,took what 'the man' said for granted("He doesn't think the snake was poisonous"), he would have been wrong(obviously he did not do so).

It was upto the discretion of the ER doctor to decide if the snake was perhaps poisonous or not (whatever the victim of the alleged snake bite indicates).

Snake bites are always given due priority, just like any other life-threatening emergency.The patient will be observed/treated as the symptoms dictate.

If the victim of the alleged bite ('the man') presents as you have described,
he/she would receive polyvalent snake anti-venom + acute care management as per local protocols.
Best wishes!

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