Snakebite is an occupational hazard or a medical emergency mostly found in tropical India where farming is the primary source of employment. The major cause of this snake bite mortality which can also be called as 'unacceptable incidence' is that instead of going out to the nearest hospitals, initially just after the snake bite people try out all kinds of freakish activities.
The data that is available on the epidemiology of snake bite is not very common as it mostly occurs in rural areas where people are less literate and use traditional healers or occult. Only severe cases reach medical health centers or hospitals. In India, the study was carried to construe epidemiology, clinical features, arrival delays, complications and the reaction of snakebite.
The first aid must be started as soon as it's possible and it does not matter if that snake is venomous or not, you should take all snake bites seriously.
Here are some essential steps that should not be avoided and this is how you can take care of the person suffering from snake bite-
1) Make sure the pressure immobilization bandage is appropriately applied.
2) Splint the limb and the patient should be immobilized.
3) Never wash the snakebite as skin swabs could be used for venom detection. Accordingly, antivenom could be given.
4) Before removing the pressure immobilization bandage, transfer the patient to a place (maybe within the state if the facilities are available otherwise take them to other place availing air ambulance service as you should never take the risk or be casual. Some people might avoid transporting the snake bite victims to another place as the air ambulance cost is quite high but this could lead to be their biggest mistake) with laboratory facilities which should include testing coagulation, ensuring the antivenom stocks as well as the staff to monitor and treat the patient.
5) You cannot trust on visual identification of snakes as it is highly unreliable. The patient should be kept in at least 12 hours close observation in an apt facility which is required for all uncertain snake bites.
Snakebite may be known as an occupational disease by which predominantly males are affected rather than females, as a majority of the male workers are engaged in farming activities. In addition to the farmers as they even walk barefoot on the fields, herdsmen, plantation labor or workers on the development site are also found to be affected by snake bite. Snakebite is one of the common threats during the monsoon season.
Here are some symptoms of a venomous snake bite-
a) Blurred vision, sweating and salivation, difficulty in breathing or numbness may be the symptom of a dangerous snakebite.
b) A poisonous snakebite could also lead to redness and pain around the bite marks or 2 puncture wounds with swelling.
c) Collapsing, vomiting, nausea or a headache can also be the sign of hazardous snake bite.
Snakebite victims suffer through common complications if the correct procedure is not followed and proper treatment is not taken for snakebite envenomation. Most common complexity is respiratory paralysis, which further leads to acute renal failure.
Preparation is the most important part of the journey when travelling to remote areas. It is also not advisable to walk barefoot as you should never underestimate the risks. Before you set off, tell everyone the place you are going, with whom and when you are leaving and when you would come back. Always ensure of your travel insurance and invest in good walking shoes. It is recommended to follow the advice of guides or rangers and take notice of signs at all times. As it is always said, your safety is in your hands.
Hence, it is always advised to follow appropriate procedure and treatment with suitable medication immediately after a person is bitten by a snake. Also, there is a need to educate and aware the rural people about the peril and cure of snake bite.