Low dose of snake antivenom effective: Research

Comparatively low dose of snake antivenom is proved to be effective in Nepal, according to new research report.

A research conducted jointly by the B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Dharan and senior physicians Dr Bijaya Poudel, Dr Kalidas Adhikari, Prof Dr Sanjib Sharma and Dr Chhabilal Thapa at Bharatpur Hospital confirmed that only 30 antivenom vials were required to cure snake bite cases against 165 vials required for the same case earlier.

Assisted by University of Geneva in Switzerland, the research was conducted for two years at Bharatpur Hospital in Chitwan, Military Camp in Jhapa’s Charali and Red Cross Office in Damak, said Dr Poudel.

The research also studied treatment method for snake-bite cases and different types of snakes.

The research is expected to help address the perennial scarcity of snake antivenom in the country and save thousands of rupees spent on purchasing the serum every year. A vial of snake antivenom costs up to Rs 2000 in the market.

According to a study, Nepal is a home to 89 different types of snakes, of them eight are said to be poisonous. Out of approximately 20,000 people who are bitten by snakes every year, around 1000 lose their lives.

Bharatpur Hospital receives 400 to 500 snake-bite patients every year, said Dr Poudel.

“Effects of snake venom start exhibiting between five minutes to 24 hours of the bite”, he said. “Life of the patient can be saved if taken to hospital on time.” RSS