World Snake Day: What u must do when a snake bites you & treatment in Uganda

In Uganda, a lot of bad information still roams the minds of Ugandans about snakes.
Snakes are important in our ecosystem but also dangerous if dealt with in the wrong. manner.#WhisperEyeNews #WorldSnakeDay


When one is bitten by a snake, we call it envenomation because snakes have venom as their weapon to fight against prey and also to help in digestion.
The most effective and up-to-date snake bite kits are the car key and a phone.
The phone is to alert the hospital to prepare for the emergency and the car is to drive to the hospital.
The following is a list of things not to do in case of a snakebite:

  • Do not hang around the snake trying to kill or restrain it, but a quick photo is of good help.
  • Do not cut or suck the venom out because this only damages tissues which are already traumatized.
  • Do not apply heat because this will circulate venom quickly.
  • Do not use “extractor” products that aim to remove the venom.
  • Do not consume food or alcohol because it thins blood allowing toxins to circulate in the body.
     

    Here are the Dos considered during a snake bite:

Stay calm the elevated heart rate speeds the venom circulation.

Remove all tight things around the body like rings or other items that may cut into the body.

When it’s a viper bite (salambwa), position the bite above heart level, and if it’s an elapid like a cobra (enswera) and mamba (Temankima) lower the bite position below heart level.

Proceed quickly to the hospital for antivenom.


STATUS OF ANTIVENOM IN UGANDAN HOSPITALS


Most hospitals in Uganda lack antivenom and even they don’t know how to administer it to the patients.
Above all the anti-venom in Uganda is not effective because most of it is made based on Indian snakes which are not found in Uganda hence many people die of snakes.

In case of an emergency from a snakebite, one needs to run to Nsambya hospital,
Entebbe Grade B hospital and also one can contact our medical consultant Josephine Nabachwa on 0754490857/0773550481.
These hospitals above at least have got the right recommended antivenom which differs from India’s make as seen below.

Reconstitute 1 vial with 10mL of normal saline. Then give the 10mL into an IV over 1-2 minutes.

All in all, as Herp Fauna Foundation Uganda we believe that proper wildlife education will help us to do away with the myths and fears surrounding these valuable reptiles of our ecosystem.
 


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