Snakebite in PNG.

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Snakebite in PNG.

Postby ViperLover » Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:14 am

I was just directed to this video on YouTube, inwhich contains footage of a bite from a PNG Taipan (Oxyuranus s. canni) which was taken by a world known Toxinologist, Snakebite Clinician, and Professional Herpetologist Dr. David Williams.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHg6j6tqCho

The footage also gives an insight into what really happens in PNG, and the difficulties the country is in for purchasing valuable antivenoms to treat bites from all of the highly venomous snakes, which are indigenous to Papua New Guinea.

This brings huge concerns to me, and should bring huge concerns to everybody in the reptile community, that the troubles that people like Dave Williams are going through in producing, and obtaining the life saving drug required to treat snake bites which happen on a daily basis.

The Black Market Trade for drugs, to me is extremely dangerous, and proves so in this video where the Presenter, managed to obtain antivenom, however it is the wrong drug, which is used to treat certain venomous snakes in India.

I ask what are your honest thoughts on this?

Al Coritz, well known as Viperkeeper filmed 2 hours worth of video with American Herpetologist, Terry Phillip, and is willing to send the footage via email for a small donation of I think $25 USD, which will be forwarded onto David in the hopes of purchasing medical equipment, and the valuable 'liquid gold' to save the lives of many people who fall victim to snakes in PNG. You can find details on his YouTube channel if you do not know of this already. http://www.youtube.com/viperkeeper. - I feel this is a really good cause, and could save the lives of many people.

Best regards,
James
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Re: Snakebite in PNG.

Postby Bushviper » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:33 am

I can really sympathise with David as I have worked on a number of film shoots. Without a doubt he was ready to let the snake go through camera and the crew were wasting time. That's why he got bitten. They were ecstatic because now the footage they shot just became 100 times more valuable.

As in any corrupt society, collecting money itself is not going to be the answer if the money is going to be spent on hyper-inflated prices to procure antivenom. If the money is going to be used to buy antivenom directly from Australia and then sent to PNG then the legal problems of the "contract" that the suppliers have with the sharks in PNG comes into question. If we ignore this then once the antivenom does arrive who is going to organise the distribution of the antivenom?

I really feel for David and really hope he manages to get some sort of arrangement with the Minister of Health to be able to circumvent the procurement procedure that they currently have. If he can have a parallel distribution network going then he stands a chance to make a difference.

Asking Bioclon Mexico to produce an antivenom for PNG might also be another answer. The quality will have to be confirmed and then this will alleviate the refrigeration problems they face now. The cost per vial will probably be less if you compare prices of crotalid antivenom between suppliers so it is possible this could also be applicable in this case.

We have almost identical problems in Swaziland and so far by donating antivenom we have manged to save a few lives but this has been a drop in the ocean compared to what they need. We have Thea working in Swaziland and PNG has David so I am sure it will be possible to find some solution to help their problem.

I have seen friends die in South Africa due to no antivenom being available and we make buckets of antivenom so there will always be this problem even though it is so easy to solve. Money is the main factor though. Dedication we have (as seen in the video) but one man can only do so much.
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Re: Snakebite in PNG.

Postby CLSmith » Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:39 pm

I believe a unit like the Miami-dade county Fire Rescue's Venom Response Program is very close to a perfect example of how such a program must be run.

-Paramedics trained specifically for treating venomous bites.
-Capable of reaching nationwide via air transport.
-Keeping stock of anti-venom for various species.

http://www.miamidade.gov/mdfr/emergency_special_venom.asp


Venom Response Program

The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) Venom Response Program is comprised of a highly specialized team of paramedic firefighters who are trained in response, management, and treatment of envenomations. Miami-Dade County is home to numerous venomous and poisonous animals, and is also the point of entry for a wide variety of venomous animals imported into the United States. The Venom Response Team is committed to delivering the highest possible standard of medical intervention with respect to injuries due to venomous fauna.

MDFR's Venom Response Bureau provides ongoing education, training and awareness of the many dangerous and venomous species native to, or imported into the United States and promotes interoperability and communication between numerous agencies, municipalities, healthcare providers and poison control centers.

The Venom Response Team currently maintains the largest and only antivenom bank for public use in the United States. The Team employs the latest techniques to prevent morbidity and mortality through antivenom intervention 24 hours a day, seven days a week, locally, nationally, and internationally.
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Re: Snakebite in PNG.

Postby ViperLover » Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:23 pm

Great response Bushviper.

I am aware of the difficulties faced, not only in Swaziland, but throughout Africa, aswell as PNG and Indonesia. - We, as people can all make a difference if we help the causes, as nobody deserves to die. The people are trying to survive, and so are the snakes, and it is when Man, and Beast clash is where we have the problems.

I, personally think the prices to save a humans life are atrocious. $2,000 AUD per ampoule, to save a life of another Human being? You got to be joking, right?

It is Greed such as this, which is a huge part of the reason why these innocent people suffer. They have enough to contend with, and the fauna is one of their biggest fears.

I have been thinking about arranging something within the UK, something to be sponsored to help raise money, so as this valuable 'liquid gold' can be produced, and obtained. - I will not go into details yet, as nothing has been properly thought out.

I understand that Antivenom takes a conciderable amount of time and money to be produced, but I strongly believe that there should not be any profit made for human life.
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Re: Snakebite in PNG.

Postby Bushviper » Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:43 am

ViperLover wrote:I understand that Antivenom takes a conciderable amount of time and money to be produced, but I strongly believe that there should not be any profit made for human life.


Somehow this will not get you many supporters as all medicines are made and sold at massive profits especially if it saves lives. Drug companies make obscenely huge amounts of money from medicines and rarely care about the well being of the people.

I honestly do not think that making antivenom is an expensive process and if you are using the same principles then how can the same product cost $100 in South Africa and $2000 in Australia. They dont pay much more for the raw products (venom, horses and equipment) so why should it be so expensive. I do understand that quality control and some research costs have to be paid back and obviously a profit has to be generated for the people who make the antivenom.

It would be interesting to know what David was doing with the venom he was milking. What plans does he have? Who is helping him with that endeavor?
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Re: Snakebite in PNG.

Postby ViperLover » Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:40 pm

Bushviper wrote:
ViperLover wrote:I understand that Antivenom takes a conciderable amount of time and money to be produced, but I strongly believe that there should not be any profit made for human life.


Somehow this will not get you many supporters as all medicines are made and sold at massive profits especially if it saves lives. Drug companies make obscenely huge amounts of money from medicines and rarely care about the well being of the people.

I honestly do not think that making antivenom is an expensive process and if you are using the same principles then how can the same product cost $100 in South Africa and $2000 in Australia. They dont pay much more for the raw products (venom, horses and equipment) so why should it be so expensive. I do understand that quality control and some research costs have to be paid back and obviously a profit has to be generated for the people who make the antivenom.

It would be interesting to know what David was doing with the venom he was milking. What plans does he have? Who is helping him with that endeavor?



I will PM you....
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