As summer arrives, so does an increase in the number of people bitten by venomous snakes.
|A victim of a venomous snake bite. — Photo Bach Mai Hospital|
At least eight people who suffered venomous snake bites are currently being treated at the Poison Control Centre in Hanoi’s Bach Mai General Hospital.
Dr Nguyen Trung Nguyen, director of the Poison Control Centre, said that over the past week, people bitten by venomous snake have been rushed to the hospital every day.
Last Thursday evening, a 32-year-old patient in Phu Tho was hospitalised after being bitten by a green snake in his garden.
The patient received first aid at home and was taken to Hung Vuong General Hospital and then transferred to Bach Mai Hospital.
Another victim is a man from Khoai Chau District, Hung Yen Province.
He was bitten by a cobra on one of his right fingers while he was cleaning up a pile of bricks.
He was also transferred to the Poison Control Centre after being taken to provincial General Hospital as his finger experienced significant swelling and redness as well as a throbbing pain.
“We always see an uptick in snake bites when the weather starts to get warmer, especially from April to November,” Dr Nguyen said.
He said there are many types of venomous snakes in Vietnam and each type of snake produces different venom, meaning there are different first-aid measures and treatment options depending on the type of venomous snake.
“The biggest mistake of most victims is the use of traditional treatment methods in first aid when being bitten by a snake,” said Nguyen.
Patients rush to health facilities when they have symptoms of respiratory failure such as cyanosis, muscle contraction and difficulty breathing, he said.
If bitten, he advises staying calm, immobilising the limb to keep it as still as possible, perhaps with a splint, to reduce the spread of venom and getting to a health facility immediately.
People should clear undergrowth and keep their houses tidy and clean and wear protective boots, long clothes and carry a stick when working on the farm or in the forest.
Biologists say snakes don’t bite unless they feel threatened and most bites occur when people are trying to disturb or kill a snake. VNS