Clinical Features Of Snake Bites

 Snake bites are common during the rainy season and people mostly affected or at risk are rural agriculture workers, hunters, herders, fisherman and people in poorly constructed houses. Most snakes in Zimbabwe are not poisonous but however when one gets a snake bite they should seek medical attention immediately. 

First aid when one gets a snake bite:

1. Reassure the person bitten by the snake

2. Wash the area bitten with water to remove residual venom 

3. Avoid excitement and exertion which accelerate circulation time and rapidly propel venom throughout the body

4. Splint limb and minimise movement 

5. Urgently seek medical attention 

NB: Use of tourniquet (to tie limb proximal to bitten area) is not recommended by people without medical expertise as it may lead to gangrene leading to limb amputation.

Clinical features of snake bites:

1. Local: pain, swelling, blisters, bruising 

2. Systemic: nausea, vomiting, headache, paraesthesia, dizziness, tachycardia, sweating, bleeding, hypotension, fasculations

Treatment - It depends on the condition of the patient

- Antitetanus toxoid

- Analgesic (pain killers)

- Elevate affected limb

- Antibiotics if indicated 

- Antivenom

- Surgery

 Zimbabwe Online Health Centre

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