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Drug usage in the management of snake bite patients in a tertiary care teaching hospital - A retrospective study

Rohini Gupta, Brij Mohan Gupta, Apeksha Gupta.


Background: Snake bite is an important medical emergency and an occupational health hazard in India especially in rural population. In the developing countries, it has been reported that about 80% of the snake bite patients first consult traditional practitioners before approaching the hospital and the delay in transportation leads to mortality. Thus, the actual incidence of mortality due to snake bites in India especially in Jammu and Kashmir may be much higher as a large number of cases remain unreported.

Objective: The objective of the study was to study the drug usage pattern in the management of snake bite patients in a tertiary care teaching hospital.

Materials and Methods: This was an observational retrospective study conducted over a period of 3 months. The medical records of snake bite patients during the study period were reviewed to extract information regarding demographics (age and gender), site of bite, clinical features, anti snake venom (ASV) administration, and pattern of concomitant drugs used. The data thus obtained were filled in a pre-designed pro forma and analyzed with the help of descriptive statistics.

Results: In the present study, data of 76 snake bite patients were analyzed. Males 52 (68.4%) were predominantly affected as compared to females 24 (31.6%). The mean age of the patients was 35.26 ± 14.11 years. As per site of bite, it was observed that lower limbs were most commonly affected in 84.2% of patients whereas 12 (15.8%) patients had a bite over upper limbs. Nearly 35 (46.1%) patients received ASV within 6 h following bite. Concomitant drugs used were tetanus toxoid in 81.6% patients and antibiotics in 53.9% of patients.

Conclusion: Snake bite, though preventable yet remains to be one of the common medical emergency. Thus to decrease the mortality associated with this disease, it is need of the hour to make patients and community aware of correct first aid measures, quick transport and should also be imparted other important information such as not to walk barefooted and not to sleep on floor the training of primary level health workers will also be of immense help in educating the people.

Key words: Snake Bite; Anti Snake Venom Serum; Poisoning

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