Name: Sunil Vijay Sahasrabudhe; Age: 43yrs
Victim’s background: Sunil V Sahasrabudhe is married and has an 8 year old daughter. He runs a small printing business.
Bite Incident : This is the story of a snakebite incident that happened right in the hustle and bustle of a busy city. On 30th Oct 2013, Sunil was returning from Badlapur on his scooter. The roads were dug up for widening purposes and as he approached Newale Village (between Dombivli & Ambarnath MIDC), he realized there was a serpentine traffic. The only difference was that no one was honking. It was around 7pm and getting dark. He got off his scooter and went on foot to investigate the reason for the traffic jam. Right in the middle of the road was a grey morphed Spectacled Cobra hooded and hissing at the milling crowd.
Sunil is an animal lover and wanted to ensure the snake is safely moved to the side of the road. He started plodding the snake to the other side of the road. The snake panicked and started slithering towards the now slowly moving traffic on the other side of the road. Sunil again tried to move it away from harms way and the snake by now slithered under his scooter. In a few minutes, the snake was on top of the scooter. Sunil managed a head catch of the hooded snake and carried it close to a bush to release it.
In his inexperience of handling snakes, he didn’t realize how he was risking his life by slowly loosening his grip during the release. The snake barely nipped at the index finger of his left hand. When he realized he was bitten, he released the snake in the bushes and immediately asked an onlooker, Chandrakant to help him get to a nearby Public Health Center (PHC).
It took them 20 mins to reach the PHC. Anti-venom was not available at the center. They administered a tetanus injection and Sunil was on the road again, headed to Thakur Memorial Hospital in Dombivli as advised by his family doctor, Dr Amit Kulkarni. Though this was a private hospital, they had a ready stock of anti-venom. Ironically instead of immobilizing the patient, Sunil had to climb stairs to get to the casualty ward on the first florr. where he was ultimately attended to.
By this time he was showing signs of envenomation with rapid swelling of the local bite area. Sunil’s vision was deteriorating and he was fast slipping into an unconscious state. Sunil was immediately admitted in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit and was on the ventilator for the next 24 hours. He was later shifted to the general ward and discharged after 5 days of care under Dr Verma. A total of 14 vials were administered to treat Sunil. The cost of treatment was close to Rs 90K.
This incident though stressful for the entire family has not left Sunil paranoid about snakes. He admits it was his own wrong doing that landed him in trouble. Since the bite, there have been 3 incidents when snakes have entered his house in Dombivli. He chooses to leave the snake alone and slither away on its own. His daughter is being raised to love animals including reptiles but also be respectful and keep a safe distance from wild animals.
Written by Priyanka Kadam.