Puff Adder Bite

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.

Postby rosshawkins2812 » Thu Jan 17, 2008 3:21 pm

Yes it was a very Fiesty animal. Stunning little guy, and the way that it bit him was absolutely amazing. I mean how it got around like that n managed to get both fangs into his hand
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Postby gino » Thu Jan 17, 2008 6:16 pm

:oops: :oops: im probably gonna get kakked out for posting this topic :oops: :oops:
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Postby rosshawkins2812 » Thu Jan 17, 2008 6:29 pm

Spoke to Marius this afternoon, and he doesn't seem to uptight about it.
As has been said, it's out there so what's done is done.
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Postby Bushviper » Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:03 pm

What tickles me is that we are in Pretoria and have antivenom so we could have gotten it to him a lot quicker. We also have an arrangement with an ambulance service to pick up snake bite victims or take antivenom at cost price if they dont have medical aid.

Many of the guys that work on these ambulances have done the snake bite course so they are not clueless like some medical personnel.
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Postby Mongoose » Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:47 pm

BV - He went to hospital in Pretoria and had A.V administrated there.

Once things had settled down he went to CT.
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Postby rosshawkins2812 » Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:30 pm

The anti-venom was administered as a last resort. After Johan had consulted with Roger Blylock and another expert, it was decided to take Marius froim Nylstroom to Pretoria.
There the surgeon kept an eye on how things were going with Marius and then it was decided to administer anti-venom.

The hospital only had 6 ampules and a 7th was brought in from the hospital in Montrose.
This was administered over a period of 30min to make suire that Marius did not have any bad effects or any allergic reactions to the anti-venom
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Postby Bushbaby » Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:52 am

I finally received an e-mail from Marius with a short write up and photos of the bite.

I was on a month-long SARCA field survey, just done with looking for geckos in the Waterberg, and heading for the Soutpansberg. On Xmas eve we did a night drive and found a young python, a Bibron’s Stiletto Snake and a puffie. The SARCA team consisted of two local volunteers, Ross Hawkins and Sara Greene, and a journalist from Croatia named Goran Safarek. We decided to keep the python and puffie until the next morning so that Goran could photograph them for the article he was working on. And the rest is old news. This particular Puff Adder just wouldn’t be necked. Twice it pulled free whilst the stick was firmly on its head. On the third attempt I made the grab, but it just kept on fighting and twisting and gaping, and in a sort of fast slow-motion action that I can’t recall exactly, it managed to get both fangs into my right thumb.

My first symptoms, other than the stabs of pain, were utter foolishness. What a stupid unnecessary thing to have happened. And I was cross with myself for making this mistake – and for missing out on exploring the Soutpansberg. Damn idiot! Anyway, Ross then drove us to a hospital in Nylstroom and we made contact with Johan Marais who met up with us about an hour or so later. Need I say that I was in a lot of pain – and I was still angry – and I wanted it to be over soon – so that I could get back into the bush. Yeah right…

The swelling was spreading rapidly and, after consultations with two snakebite experts, it was decided that I should get serum in a Pretoria hospital. My only fearful moment came when the serum was administered. We’ve all heard about the potential problems with serum such as going into anaphylactic shock and dying quite rapidly. Well now was my chance to see if I would react badly to the serum or not. I decided not to inform my family until afterwards – if there was to be an afterwards – which there was of course. I felt no strange sensations at all. I did, however, develop a red rash (not itchy) on arms and legs for a few hours, but that was it.

The swelling went down fairly fast over the next few days, and I ascribe that to the serum treatment. But my thumb was in a bit of trouble. The doctor recommended cutting it to release some pressure, and ultimately save it from amputation. I spent 10 days in hospital in Pretoria, and underwent three surgeries on the thumb. A forth cutting session was done in Cape Town to prepare the wound for skin grafting, but the latter never happened. It is now 2.5 months after the bite and the thumb is still bandaged up – it hasn’t closed up yet – it is completely stiff and stupid and without feeling on the tip. The injury appears to be permanent, and currently I’m rather clumsy with the right hand – so I’ll just have to adjust in one way or another.

To sum up, I never expected to get bitten on a SARCA trip. I thought a car accident may be likely, or running into trouble with malicious people, or squashing a hand under a rock. But I never thought I’d get bitten by a dangerous snake. It wasn’t as though I was complacent about handling snakes. It wasn’t because I was being a cowboy and showing off. It was just a stupid blerrie accident. And it reminded me that us snake handlers do in fact run a greater risk of getting bitten, compared to normal folk. I hope that people reading my account will tighten up their concentration just a little bit when handling dangerous snakes. Other than the physical injury, I can also state that it is hellish expensive to get bitten. The hospital bill (in part only) for the first ten days came to R52000, and the bigger amounts are yet to come. So if you are not rich, or don’t have a good medical aid, then you can’t actually afford to get bitten…

Marius Burger

30 minutes after the bite.
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2 days after the bite
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10 days after the bite
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12 days after the bite
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16 days after the bite
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19 days after the bite
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Please note that I have permission from Marius Burger to post these photos on this forum. They are however his property and all copyrights belong to him.
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Postby Deon » Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:02 am

Puts keeping venomous in perspective, we sometimes forget about the dangers....
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Postby snake-5 » Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:13 pm

Or public hospital = R50 odd bucks and doctors who treat snakebites weekly hmm even with medical aid provincial hospitals make better sense.
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Postby steve » Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:48 pm

ouch that looks rather painful :shock:
vipers?
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Postby gino » Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:06 am

There goes my puffadders :(
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Postby Q Ball » Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:32 am

Eish! That looks painful. Hope his thumb heals back to normal.
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Postby Bushbaby » Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:28 am

yup, lets hold thumbs :)
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Postby damiensharjah » Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:44 am

Bushbaby wrote:yup, lets hold thumbs :)


No pun intended?
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Postby Bushviper » Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:23 pm

You two are sick puppies. Saying things like this to a man who got bitten and went through all the pain.

This is not a bite you want to thumb your nose at either.
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