Author(s): Anitha Aswathanarayana, Srinivasa S. V, Prabhakar Kamarthi
BACKGROUND One of the medical emergencies in our country among rural population is snake-bite particularly where agriculture is the main occupation of many people. Most houses are made of mud in rural India. Snakes enter the houses in search of food. More than 2,700 species of snakes are recognized world over, but only about 450 of these have front fangs that make them capable of injecting venom during the bite. Fortunately, only a few of them are known to be of medical importance. METHODS Complete history was elicited from the patients and patients’ attenders. General physical examination was done in each case. Investigations done were- complete haemogram, bleeding time, clotting time, coagulation profile, blood sugar, renal function tests, serum electrolytes, ECG, chest x-ray, urine albumin and microscopy. RESULTS A total of 237 snake bite cases were reported and analysed in our study. Snake bite was common in age group of 18-30 years (51%). Males (63.3%) were affected more than Females (36.7%). Snake bite was more common between 12 PM to 6 PM. Snakebite occurred more in indoor (56.3%) than outdoor (43.9%). Among 237 snake bite patients, 78 (33%) patients showed signs of systemic envenomation, out of which 45 (19%) showed neurotoxicity, 21 (8%) had haematotoxicity and 12 (5.1%) had both neuro and haematotoxicity. CONCLUSIONS Snake bite is a major health problem in our country in rural areas. It requires early identification of envenomation. It requires early treatment to prevent complications, and reduction in mortality. Our study gives knowledge about snake bite envenomation, prevalence, at tertiary centre in rural area which helps us to understand and predict complications due to snake bite at an early stage and helps in its management.