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Anti-venom

Find information and FAQ's not related to the parks, like Health & Safety, 4x4 etc.

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Kalaharikind
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Anti-venom

Unread postby Kalaharikind » Sun Nov 26, 2006 11:38 am

Can anyone plz tell me if there are any anti venom available for scorpions and snakes in Kgalagadi or do you have to take you’re own with

Thanx
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Unread postby Penny » Sun Nov 26, 2006 7:03 pm

We asked this selfsame question on our recent trip to KTP and the answer was that the patient would be stabilised in the Park and once safe to do so they would be transported to Twee Rivieren (by road). The Office at TR would in turn have notified Upington of the situation who would then deal with it accordingly. I am not a fundi on anti-venom nor do I know how the time frame given the above information would affect the patient's chances but for the record this is what we were told!
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Imberbe
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Unread postby Imberbe » Sun Nov 26, 2006 11:40 pm

Administering anti-venom is very dangerous unless you know 1. exactly what you are doing, 2. that the anti-venom is the exact type needed for the specific type of snake and 3. that it has been kept under ideal circumstance.

In other words ... it is not at all advised to carry your own! It is not even advised for National Park authorities to keep a supply! It can be positively dangerous!

There are very few snakes that are really dangerously poisonous. Those that are, very seldom bite a person. And when they do, they often do not inject venom (!) and you mostly have enough time to make it to a hospital if they do.

As for scorpions: Even though their sting might burn like hell :twisted: ... even fewer of them are really dangerous to a human.

So ... go and enjoy the Kgalagadi!
:wink:
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Kalaharikind
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Unread postby Kalaharikind » Mon Nov 27, 2006 7:49 am

Thanx 4 da info , I am a qualified cca paramedic and I did a course in anti venom administering. I will be taking my own with seeing that the nearest place is Upington .Life is 2 precious to take chances .Only draw back is that anti venom is very expensive.
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Unread postby luisbyter » Mon Nov 27, 2006 9:59 pm

dear kalaharikind

just some "useless info" on scorpion bite that i thought you might find interesting.

south africa actually has a low incidence of scorpionism. unlike south west USA, mexico, india and north africa. there are worldwide roughly 100 000 cases of scorpionism per year resulting in 800 deaths. in south africa 95% of all cases of scorpionism result only in a mild local inflammatory reaction and pain lasting 15 min - 4 hours and no systemic effects. there are roughly 4 deaths per year. (nothing in comparison with cars, guns etc.)

the medically important scorpions belong to the family "buthidae". they are characterised by their thin pincers and broad tails. the other families "scorpionidae" are relatively harmless and are characterised by their large pincers and slender tails.

as far as the treatment of scorpion bites go, less that 5% of bites require medical treatment. scorpion first aid treatment entail cold compress, simple analgesics (paracetamol), cleaning of the wound. watch out for systemic symptoms.

antiserum is only recommend in patients with severe systemic symptoms (sweating, drooling, difficult swallowing, unable to stand, seizures, difficult breathing etc.) it should only be used by persons trained in the use of it as well as the management of allergic reactions. (must have adrenaline, steroids available)

i am of the opinion that it is unnecessary to carry scorpion antiserum with you since the incidence of "deadly bites" are low in SA. you can potentially do more harm than good. (especially in the wrong hands). it is a lot cheaper and safer to avoid bites - wear shoes, exercises caution when lifting rocks, don't sleep directly on the ground when camping, learn to distinguish between venomous and non-venomous scorpions.

:D :D

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Unread postby gwendolen » Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:09 pm

I wonder how high the incidence of "luisbytes" is. :lol:

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Unread postby luisbyter » Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:15 pm

:hmz: it all depends...

:D :D

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Imberbe
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Unread postby Imberbe » Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:08 pm

Kalaharikind wrote:Thanx 4 da info , I am a qualified cca paramedic and I did a course in anti venom administering. I will be taking my own with seeing that the nearest place is Upington .Life is 2 precious to take chances .Only draw back is that anti venom is very expensive.


Good for you! I wish I had that training! :)

But then ... did you also do a course in snake identification? :twisted:
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Unread postby Obelix » Tue Nov 28, 2006 8:37 am

Imberbe wrote:Administering anti-venom is very dangerous unless you know ... 2. that the anti-venom is the exact type needed for the specific type of snake... :wink:

With regards to anti-venom (on a lighter note) - I had an uncle who was very fond of the outdoors and he used to go on long walks on the farm where I come from. Although we sometimes see other kinds of snakes as well, normally the only kinds of snakes we encounter on the farm are pufadders.

One day, my uncle was on one of these walks again, accompanied by one of the farm workers, when he felt the sharp sting of what can only be a pufadder's bite on his ankle. Looking down, my uncle could see the distinct two small holes left by the pufadder's teeth. Luckily, they were not far from the farmhouse when the pufadder struck. My uncle struggled to the farmhouse, assisted by the farmworker, and thereafter raced to the nearest town, which is only about 20km's from the farm.

On his arrival at the local doctor, my uncle immediately informed the doctor of the pufadder bite and the doctor, fully aware of my uncle's knowledge of wild life, took his word for it and immediately administered a dose of the appropriate anti-venom. After that, my uncle was admitted to the hospital where the medical personel started checking his vital signs. After all the action and with everybody settled down, the doctor now decided to take a closer look at the bitemark ... and low and behold - upon closer inspection the doctor noticed the two thorns still neatly lodged deep into my uncle's flesh. The pufadder's bitemark was all the time just a well placed "bite" by a two-headed thorn.

You would not believe me if you were not at the local hospital on that specific day, but you should have seen the chaos that broke loose after that - every single doctor and nurse raced out to a nearby field now in search of a pufadder to bite my uncle, obviously to counter the anti-venom just administered to my uncle... :wink:

Jumbo

Unread postby Jumbo » Tue Nov 28, 2006 8:57 am

Hi Kalaharikind

I believe the right person you should speak to is Pilane…I however haven’t seen him on the forum the past week or so….maybe you should send him a PM.

What I do know is that the experts are very cautious about the administration of anti-venom…the reasons given by Imberbe are some that needs serious consideration!
@Obelix LOL :lol: :shock:

Another reason is that up to 20% of people receiving anti-venom display serum sensitivity and thus you also need to have the proper drugs and know-how to deal with such an allergic reaction…this reaction can be more severe than the snakebite itself! :?

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Unread postby Bush Baptist » Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:50 am

I know this sounds trite, but with a little vigilance and common sense, one can usually avoid being stung or bitten.

Do NOT park near to a snake. It is likely to find the shade your car is providing, very appealing, and might head for it. Once under your car, the chassis is the next cool place and you now have a major problem. I have read on the forum of people to whom this happened, getting the snake out of the fabric in the ceiling!
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Unread postby DuQues » Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:42 pm

Have you read Mashona's post Greamy?
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Unread postby Pilane » Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:44 pm

I don't recomend antivenin for the following reasons.

1. 99% snakebites won't reqiure it
2. Expensive (About R1000 for a kit (2 amp) which is not enough in any case for say a serious mamba bite) Scorpion antivenin is even more expensive!!
3. Short rack life
4. Has to be kept cool
5. Best administered intraveneous
6. Can kill if you are allergic to it. (You'll need cortizone and adrenaline injections if the victim is allergic to it.)
7. How many people do you know that has been bitten by a snake?
8. 99,9% of the time you can reach help in due time.
9. Still very effective even adminstered after a long time!
10. 99,9% of snakebites occur when people handle them
11. Snakes don't hunt humans down or look for opertunities to bite them.

If you really want to carry it the the choice will be Polyvalent antivenin. Rather go for the good old pressure immobilizing bandage and head for a hospital where there is actually somebody that knows something about snakebite :roll:

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Anti venom availability

Unread postby Mfezi » Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:15 pm

Hi Kalaharikind

Since I have just recently joined the Forum, I would just like to say that I agree 100% with Pilane's and Imberbe's remarks.

Especially Imberbe's remark on snake identification. From my point of view (Pilane, you are well come to correct me if I am wrong), if you consider antivenom administration, you first need to identify the snake 100% correct - NO guessing. The only time when antivenom administration is considered, and the snake escaped and is not available for identification purposes is in a confirmed snakebite case where breathing difficulties (tachypnoea and dyspnoea) are present. And even if it is done, you still need to take into consideration that any venomous snake is capable of administering a "dry bite" - no venom was injected -eg. a friend of my sustained two black mamba bites - both dry bites!!!! It is better to treat A,B,C and stay away from antivenom anaphylaxis.

So just for interest sake, how many snakes and scorpions (Parabuthus spp) have you seen during your trip of 2006/7?

Did you visit KTP again this time during 2007/8?? If so any snakes and / scorpions??

Mfezi

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Kalaharikind
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Unread postby Kalaharikind » Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:49 pm

Hey Mfezi ,
Yes, we did visit and we saw a cobra (geelslang) and 2 Puf adders, as for the Scorpions, we saw a lot but not the very venomous tipe.
I met a guy at a croc farm in the South Coast and he hooked me up with a doctor that specialise in snakebites and the treatment there of.
One of the important things that I have learned from him is that the doctor treating you do not just cut anywhere to relief the pressure when it comes to hemo toxic snakebites.
The best is to contact the poison helpline and let them put you in touch with a snakebite specialist.
Thanx for you're comments
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