Post-snake bite, awareness bug bites Magadi legislator

Post-snake bite, awareness bug bites Magadi legislator

A Manjunath

For an MLA who was bitten by a venomous snake last Thursday, never has the need been greater to inform the public about the dangers of snake bites and the need to take precautions while travelling on foot at night.

A Manjunath, JD(S) MLA from Magadi was returning home on foot at around 7:30 pm on February 14, after inaugurating a solar lamp when he was bitten by a common Indian krait. The locals immediately wheeled him to the nearby hospital for treatment. Even as doctors were preparing to administer an anti-venom dose to him, the MLA chose to be admitted to a private hospital in Bengaluru. Worrying about the condition, he also grabbed a few vials of anti-venom and collected the carcass of the snake that was killed by his supporters, for identification.

After a three-hour journey, he was admitted at Apollo Hospital in Sheshadripuram. However, by then the toxic in his blood had begun to show its effect. He developed irregular brain patterns due to neurotoxicity and a coagulation defect, said Dr Shankar V who treated him.

“We had sufficient stocks of anti-venom at hand,” Dr Shankar said. “But administering anti-venom treatment to a patient takes great courage because the snake has to be correctly identified. If the snake is wrongly identified, administering a wrong anti-venom is just as potent to the victim as the venom,” he said.

The body of the Krait which had bitten Manjunath had been so badly battered that doctors initially had difficulty identifying it, Shankar said. Once it was identified as a Krait, Manjunath was administered seven vials of anti-venom as per new recommendations issued by the World Health Organisation, regarding snake-bites. In about five hours, the MLAs neurological functions had returned to normal and the coagulation defect had vanished, doctors said.

Manjunath has vowed to educate people about the perils of walking in the night, without adequate lighting and of the need to seek immediate treatment at an established hospital. “What happens most of the time after a snakebite is that people end up going to traditional healers who prescribe ineffective methods,” Manjunath said.