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Four Vials of Antivenom Quite Unnecessary to Treat Snake Bites

by Savitha C Muppala on August 7, 2012 at 11:36 PM
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 Four Vials of Antivenom Quite Unnecessary to Treat Snake Bites

Recent insight has pointed out that some doctors are using four times the amount of antivenom required to treat tiger snakebites.

Dr Geoffrey Isbister, who studied 56 tiger snake bites, explained that at the time of introduction of the antivenom in 1930, the recommended dose was one vial, but over the past few decades the dosage has increased to four vials. He explained that it takes time for the antivenom to start producing results in the body.

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"Snakebite causes your blood not to clot and that's an irreversible process that takes time to heal, takes time for the liver to produce clotting factors again. So people would give antivenom and test to see if it had made the patient better, and they weren't better, so they'd think more is better and we'll give some more. (They were) just not just waiting for the body to heal itself."

Dr Isbister also cautioned against the use of more anti-venom as it can have some really bad side-effects. "Snake antivenom can cause an allergic reaction and in about 5 per cent of cases it will cause anaphylaxis, so severe allergic reaction. And the more you give, can be associated with that occurring. So it's not just about giving too much, it's less is the better in terms of the safety of using it", he said.



Source: Medindia
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