Medical workers ask bite victims to stop bringing snakes to hospitals


Published in Weird News

(UPI) Medical experts in Australia are pleading with snake bite victims to stop bringing the offending serpents with them to the hospital.

Dr. Adam Michael, director of emergency medicine at Bundaberg Hospital in Queensland, said a suspected snake bite victim came in earlier this month with a highly venomous eastern brown snake in a poorly secured plastic container.

"The staff got a fright and the serious consequence of that is it delays people's time to treatment," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. We want people to be able to get seen and assessed quickly and having a live snake in the department slows up that process.

Dr. Geoff Isbister, a clinical toxicology researcher at the University of Newcastle, said he has heard of several cases where snake bite victims brought the snake with them when seeking treatment.

"It's pretty dangerous because no one in the hospital will be able to identify it," he said. If that snake gets out in an emergency department, that becomes a huge disaster.

He said hospital staff are not trained to identify snakes, but they can perform tests to determine whether a bite victim needs antivenom.


"We can determine if you need antivenom and if so, what antivenom you need based on clinical signs, blood tests and also the snake venom detection kits that we keep here at the hospital," he said.

Professional snake catcher Jonas Murphy said he has been called out to Bundaberg Hospital on multiple occasions to relocate snakes brought in by patients.

"You are risking a follow-up bite and you're putting everyone around you in danger as well," he said. Snakes are one of those things that scare a lot of people, we definitely don't want them in the hospital.

The Wide Bay Hospital & Health Service, which operates Bundaberg Hospital and other Queensland facilities, offered snake bite advice on social media including avoiding washing the area and firmly bandaging the wound.

"Applying a tourniquet, cutting the wound, sucking the venom or bringing the snake with you to emergency are not recommended," the post said.

Copyright 2024 by United Press International


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