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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 4-12

Sociodemographic, epidemiological, clinical, and treatment profile of snakebite cases presented to a tertiary care hospital in Davangere, Karnataka, India

1 Department of Community Medicine, JJM Medical College, Davangere; Department of Community Medicine, Father Muller Medical College, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, JJM Medical College, Davangere, India
3 MBBS student, Father Muller Research Centre, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Sudhir Prabhu Haladi
Department of Community Medicine, Father Muller Medical College, Kankanady, Mangalore - 575002, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-9727.174605

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Background and Objectives: Snakebite is a common medical emergency requiring immediate medical attention. This study was conducted to understand snakebite cases, with particular attention given to where the lacunae lie in current management so that remedial steps may be undertaken. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional, descriptive study and was carried out in Davangere, Karnataka, India. Snakebite cases (729) were included in the study and all the victims were interviewed using a prestructured questionnaire. Victims were evaluated for the nature of bites, first aid measures, treatment modalities, and treatment outcome. Results: The majority of the snakebite victims were from villages, were farmers, and belonged to the 20-40 years age group. Viper bites were the most frequently reported, and an overwhelming number of victims resorted to first aid measures with tourniquet application at the site. Most victims reached a peripheral health institution (PHI) first following the bite, and a small fraction received only one vial of anti-snake venom (ASV). The longest referral pathway to a tertiary hospital was as follows: Bite-traditional healer- primary health center (PHC)-tertiary hospital; fatality was 2%. Most victims had signs of envenomation and received ASV, of whom 32% administered with ASV had developed hypersensitivity reaction. Conclusion: This study showed that PHCs were inadequate in terms of providing optimal treatment and that measures are needed to upgrade these facilities.

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