China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

pa­tients have re­ceived an­tivenin, with 25 per­cent suf­fer­ing from re­ac­tions to the treat­ment

“It’s not a mat­ter of a de­lay in the pa­tient get­ting to hos­pi­tal — in fact, what we are see­ing is a de­lay that oc­curs in the hos­pi­tal.”

The rea­son for the holdup within hos­pi­tals, ac­cord­ing to Is­bis­ter, is be­cause many vic­tims of snakebites ex­pe­ri­ence de­layed on­set of symp­toms — for ex­am­ple, it can take up to eight hours for a paral­y­sis to de­velop.

“An­other symp­tom is blood thin­ning — that means a pa­tient has to go through a clot­ting test and it could take an hour or even two for the re­sults to get back from the lab,” Is­bis­ter said.

How­ever, snakebite vic­tims also have to be con­cerned about their re­ac­tion to the an­tivenin, as the study found that of the 755 pa­tients who re­ceived an­tivenin, al­most 25 per­cent had hy­per­sen­si­tiv­ity re­ac­tions to the treat­ment.

De­spite the con­cerns, the re­port did high­light some im­prove­ments, as it con­cluded that smaller doses of an­tivenin are suf­fi­cient to save vic­tims than the amount used in the past.

“Know­ing that pa­tients need less an­tivenin than what was pre­vi­ously ad­min­is­tered will de­crease the cost and waste for hos­pi­tals. A lot of an­tivenin is thrown out every year,” he said.

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