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Hospital eases Sarina concerns over snake bite venom detection

Eastern Brown Snake.
Eastern Brown Snake.

WHETHER or not Sarina's local hospital had a Venom Detection Kit sparked heated debate Friday.

The question was raised after a young girl was recently bitten by a snake.

Sarina Hospital Acting Medical Superintendent Dr Thian Barnard said it was true the hospital didn't have a Venom Detection Kit (VDK) but this was because the kits are not used to diagnose a snake bite.

"A VDK is only used to help decide what antivenin to use after we have confirmed a patient has been envenomated,” Dr Barnard said.

"Blood tests and analysis of other physical symptoms will indicate whether the snake has injected venom.”

He said the Sarina Hospital stocks a poly-venom, which covers most snake bites in Australia, so if a patient was to present with obvious envenomation treatment could start immediately.

Dr Barnard said people living in Sarina who thought they may have been bitten by a snake should apply a pressure immobilisation bandage and phone 000.

"You will be transferred to Mackay Base Hospital because it is a larger hospital with an Intensive Care Unit and a pathology lab so rapid blood test results are available,” he said.

"Do not get someone to drive you to Sarina Hospital - call 000 and the ambulance will take you to straight to Mackay Base.”

Topics:  sarina hospital snake bite venom detection kit


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