Balduram after recieving treatment for snake bite at AHC
“It’s a beautiful day to save lives.” This line is familiar to all those who are TV addicts. However this line is soon becoming a reality for the nuns at the Anjali Health Care Centre. They had occasion to say it on the morning on May 21 when they saved a man’s life from a cobra bite.
But before we tell you about the ever so efficient delivery of anti-venom, a special mention has to be made for the brave man. Fast asleep with his wife and son next to him, Balduram had no idea that the dawn of a new day would literally bring danger into his life. A cobra had slithered into his house and made his way past the wife and son, who were completely unharmed, and perhaps detecting some movement at Balduram’s end attacked the palm of his hand.
Ordinarily one sees a lot of panic in this situation, however Balduram soon proved that he wasn’t like the others. Right after the bite, he made sure the first thing he did was safely catch the snake and trap it in a jar to protect his family as well as to make sure that he would have something to show at the hospital for a 100% correct id. He then proceeded to quickly administer first aid and without wasting any time hastened to Anjali Health Care Centre.
There were a lot of factors at play which helped save Balduram’s life.
- He was calm and quick to react: This is one of the most important things a victim of a snake bite can remember. Stressing or panicking makes the heart pump the blood faster with all the adrenaline coursing through the body also making the venom travel more rapidly. By staying calm, Balduram gave himself more time to safely reach the hospital alive and in a good condition.
- AHC was fully equipped to handle an emergency: With the help of Indiansnakes.org Anjali Health Care Centre has been able to stock anti-venom to help patients in need at any time of night and day. Looking at almost 120-150 cases of venomous bites a year, it is important for AHC to be always ready to tackle a case since they are the only clinic with the facilities to treat snake bites for over 3000 locals.
- The snake was captured alive for recovery: Although not needed since symptoms are indicative enough of the kind of anti-venom, Balduram’s quick thinking helped in id’ing the snake at a glance. He also saved the snake’s life in the process (who was released safely after Balduram was treated).
Unfortunately, not every snake bite victim is as lucky as Baldu and his family. With little or no anti-venom in most centres across the country, thousands of people are dying a slow, painful and unnecessary death. Indiansnakes.org realizing this problem has started a pioneer mediation service, as part of its India Snake Bite Initiative, for registered medical practioners, where they may contact us and obtain anti-venom at 1/4th the market price and at a shelf life of 5-7 years.
While private/profit organizations may directly pay the manufacturer, we are currently trying to raise funds to continue the supply at AHC and other charity centres like these which do not have the means to afford anti-venom on their own and are catering to the group of people who cannot afford it even to save their lives. This is where we need your help. If you would like to donate for a specific clinic or sponsor a certain number of anti-venom vials, please drop an email to email@example.com with ‘anti-venom donation’ in the subject line.
By: Shaleen Attre, Senior Project Consultant, IndianSnakes