Tag Archives: CobrabiteVictim

A Snake on the Bed!

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Dinkar Prasad Singh, a 55-year-old is a farmer from Baraini Village in the Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh. He belongs to the Yadav community and has his own farm land and a few Jersey cows and other cattle. He is a heavy, obese man and weighs 106 kg.  His family grows wheat and bajra (pearl millet) in their fields. He has 4 grown up children.

Bite incident:  13th June 2015. Dinkar and his sons were    in a room that had beds spread across the room from wall to wall. At around 1.15 a.m. he felt a sharp pain on his left foot. He got up with a start and realized a cobra was biting him. The snake had to be yanked away. The family panicked. Dinkar was taken to the hospital on a motorcycle.  As they were in a rush to take Dinkar to the hospital, they forgot about the snake.

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It took around 30 minutes to reach Kachwa Christian hospital. By that time Dinkar’s vision had blurred and he had lost consciousness. The resident doctor, Dr Takemba Ao attended to this patient. At the time of the admission, he was GCS 3/15 –  a condition in which only his heart was functioning. There were no other signs of life. Due to Dinkar’s obesity, it was difficult to intubate him. Dr Ao immediately put him on life support and started the first dose of ASV.

Dinkar regained consciousness only on the 5th day of the bite. However, he still needed respiratory support for another 3 days. Necrosis had set in on the local area from the 2nd day of the bite. Tissue damage was severe and spread to the dorsum of his foot. On the 9th day, he was taken off the respiratory support. He received a total of 23 vials of ASV. He was discharged after 18 days. He was later referred to BHU in Varanasi for further treatment of the necrotized area. The wound had festered and chances were his foot could be amputated. The wound needed expert management to ensure his didn’t suffer morbidity. Even today, 8 months after the bite, he does not have sensation on his foot and his left hand has a frozen arm syndrome. Total cost of treatment was Rs 2.5 lakhs (Rs 2,50,000)

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What happened on the 19th day of the bite

On the night of the 19th day, a day after Dinkar was discharged from the hospital, he was sleeping on the same bed as on the   night of the bite. The room was pitch dark. Around 1 a.m. Dinkar and his sons were awakened by a hissing sound. When they switched on the light, a spectacled cobra with its hood spread was seen right in front of the bed. We are not sure if it was the same snake that had bitten Dinkar. In a fit of rage, Gaurav, Dinkar’s 19-year-old son, chopped   the snake in 2 pieces using spear like weapons they kept at home to ward off wild animals raiding the fields and also to guard against dacoity which is rampant in the region.

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Deep seated beliefs in dogmas regarding snakes had made the family perform pujas etc. to ward off the curse (it’s a common belief in India that snakebite is a curse by the snake god). The author inspected Dinkar’s house and provided inputs on the changes that the family should make to guard against untoward incidences like snakebites. The room where the family slept had sacks of grains, a pot filled with water and miscellaneous items packed into it along with wall-to-wall beds. This was a perfect habitat for rodents. The gap between the house wall and the roof was almost 6 inches. This gap was not meshed and gave snakes and other animals easy access to the interior of the house. The author provided guidance on snakebite management and how to avoid being bitten in the first place.

To know more about snakebite management, do follow the below mentioned link

http://www.she-india.org/halla-bol-penned-by-priyanka-kadam/

 

Written by Priyanka Kadam

The downfall of a snake rescuer

Victim’s background:  Parmar Natubhai Hamirbhai was a 56 yr old construction labourer from Khadol village in the Dhandhuka taluka, Dist Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Apart from his day job as a construction worker, he was also a snake rescuer and villagers from in and around Khadol used to knock at his door to rescue snakes from their houses and farm. Natubhai had been rescuing snakes for the last three decades and was previously bitten by snakes. Natubhai is survived by Madhuben, his wife and three children, Chandrika, Hira and Upendra.

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Bite incident: On Thursday, 18th June 2015 a villager came calling Natubhai to help remove a Cobra from his courtyard. The villager had tried his best to move the snake away from his house. However the snake was trapped and being cornered took refuge in a hole.

It was around 10.30pm. Natubhai had consumed liquor that evening and was sleeping. His wife tried to dissuade the villager but the loud conversation woke him up and he proceeded along with the villager to remove the snake from his house..

When the duo reached the house, the Cobra had come out of the hole a little bit. Natubhai caught the snake by pinning its head. He held the snakes head at an angle for the snake to be able to twist its head and bite his palm. Natubhai shrug off the snake and the reptile quickly slithered back into the hole where it was hiding earlier.

When the snake didn’t come out of the hole for a while, Natubhai put his hand in the hole and pulled out the snake. The agitated snake bit Natubhai once again on his hand. Natubhai captured  the snake in a plastic jar to be released near by. He then made slight incisions near the bite area and sucked out the blood . Natubhai believed that venom could be extracted from the body in this way.

Natubhai released the snake in the fields a little away from the village. He didn’t confide about the bite incident to his family. He came back around 11.30pm, eat his dinner and while he was preparing to go to sleep, he started vomiting. When his family got to know about the cobra bite incident, they quickly called 108 helpline for an ambulance to take Natubhai to the nearest Govt hospital. The vehicle arrived in 30mins. The paramedics tried to revive him. However Natubhai expired a little after 12am (2..5 hours after the bite had occurred).

This story was reported by Vijay Rathod, a school teacher in Shree Dholi-Bhal Primary School, Limbdi. Gujarat.

Written by Priyanka Kadam.

Note from the author: Snakebite Healing and Education Society is documenting stories of rescuers who turned victims. Most rescuers in India have little knowledge of how to administer first aid in a snakebite situation. This story is one amongst the many we will be documenting to create awareness amongst the rescuer community. Every month rescuers die across India as they have not learnt to manage the risk associated with handling venomous snakes.