Advice cape cobra snake bite - anti venom

This section will help you get first aid treatment protocols incase of an envenomation. This includes indigenous and exotic reptiles. Please do not use this forum for photo sharing, etc.

Advice cape cobra snake bite - anti venom

Postby tpotgieter » Sun Dec 27, 2015 8:39 pm

We just recently bought a small farm in Jansenville and have had some extremely close encounters with a large, active Cape Cobra, living close to our camp site. In case of a snake bite from the Cape Cobra, the drive back to Port Elizabeth could be two hours. Could you recommend anything we could do to manage the situation more proactively after a bite while driving to PE. snake bite kit; anti venom; ventilation.. or just ry and pray?
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Re: Advice cape cobra snake bite - anti venom

Postby Sico » Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:56 am

You can use SAIMR polyvalent antivenom, but that would require some knowledge about intravenous fluid therapy, as well as anaphylactic reactions, as well as neccesitate purchasing the equipment to properly provide for and manage both of these. I'd suggest you find out which of the ambulance services in your region are more reputable (there are plenty of cr@p ones in SA at the moment), have their number well-posted and accessible, find out which hospitals in your region carry the antivenom, or have experience in snake bite cases, and make this your preferred destination, as well as having their numbers posted and accessible. Being prepared with a plan can save huge amounts of time when an emergency occurs. Notify the hospital as long before your arrival as possible, with the information they require, and they should be prepared for you which will cut out a lot of wasted time as well. In most cases you would have around 6 hours after the bite from a Cape cobra before you reach the cut-off time for antivenom effectiveness, and with basic first aid measures like rescue-rescue breathing you should be able to keep the majority of patients alive until antivenom is administered should respiratory paralysis have set in.
Your easiest, simplest solution? Eyes open and avoid the snake to begin with. An increase in activity in the immediate area will condition the snake over time and it will not feel as threatened. Pets should obviously be kept well away if at all possible as they will only "poke the wasp nest" so to speak and someone will end up bitten or upset about a dead pet.
Mark
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Re: Advice cape cobra snake bite - anti venom

Postby Ruan Stander » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:20 pm

I agree with Sico. The life saving first-aid in these potently neurotoxic bites (mambas and cape cobras) where breathing paralysis may set in very quickly in severe cases, is artificial respiration. Essentially the victim dies of suffocation, because of the paralysis in the muscles needed for breathing. So breathing for the patient becomes necessary.
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Re: Advice cape cobra snake bite - anti venom

Postby Dinks » Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:17 pm

Don't administer ur own antivenom. You have between a 30 and 40% chance of having an anaphylactic response to the antivenom. Should this occur you will be dead within a few minutes. Get bite protocol in place, keep emergency numbers on u, in the case of a Cape bite, I would use a tornique if I was far away from a hospital. I know that's not recommended bite protocol but you need to slow down the neurotoxic affects as quickly as possible.
Just my thoughts
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Re: Advice cape cobra snake bite - anti venom

Postby Shaun » Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:06 pm

A victim can be treated symptomatically without Anti venom for a Cape Cobra.
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Re: Advice cape cobra snake bite - anti venom

Postby Sico » Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:26 am

Yes Shaun, providing it is in an ICU with ventilators and a range of other intravenous medication...
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