Udupi dist solves problem of shortage of anti-snake venom

The district has overcome the scarcity of anti-snake venom, which had been spread across the district a couple of months ago.

The shortage of anti-snake venom witnessed serious complications that led to extensive hue and cry in the district.

Dr Vasudev, the district surveillance officer, had told Deccan Herald that there was sufficient supply of anti-snake venom at all the primary health centres (PHCs), taluk hospitals and district hospitals. He had added that there were many cases of snake bite reported in the district.

“The deaths occur due to untimely and delay in treatment. The number of cases is increasing over the years and the majority is from rural and remote areas. People who work as farm hands and walk all through the forest areas are the most common victims,” he added.

Elaborating on the matter, Dr Vasudev said that the staff members at each PHC have been instructed to stock up three to five vials of anti-snake venom. He said that in the district hospital, there was a stock of 250 vials of the anti-snake venom.

“There are a total of 473 vials of the venom in the district. The district hospital has the majority stock, as most of the cases are referred to the doctors at the district hospital,” he said, assuring, “There seems to be no dearth of the medicine now.”

There were a total of 20 cases of death due to snake bite in a span of three years. The officer said that the deaths were now lesser, but, the statistics tell a different tale. In 2013, as many as 97 snake bite cases were reported in the district – of which, five turned fatal.

In 2014, the number of cases increased to 145, ending in eight deaths. In 2015, 175 cases of snake bite were registered – of which, seven resulted in death.

Also, more than 50 per cent of the snake bite cases have been reported from Kundapur taluk, followed by Udupi and Karkala. In 2015, of the seven deaths reported, Karkala and Udupi registered three each while Kundapur had one case.

Dr Vasudev said that the deaths occur owing to the serve bite and delay in shifting the patient to the hospital. “Giving first aid is extremely important, to stop circulation of blood. The other reason is that people in villages go for local, traditional treatment, where the untrained therapists would experiment with the case. Sometimes, the person who is bitten by a non-poisonous snake too would succumb owing to the wrong medication by the traditional therapists.

“Test dose and observation is indeed necessary in cases of snake bite,” he explained.
DH News Service

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