Feature Neglected diseases

Snakebite: a forgotten problem

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f628 (Published 31 January 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f628

Re: Snakebite: a forgotten problem

Snake bite has been a neglected disease. Reasons being that it is a disease of poor like other neglected tropical diseases. In our practice area in the foothills of western Ghats we come across many snake bite cases. Many of the cases though are non-poisonous snake bites, would have received a dose of anti venom at the primary health center before referral. There is no policy for anti venom usage and many a times antivenins are used for non-poisonous snake bites. Recent newspaper reports on anti-venom shortage across India may be attributed to such practices.

It is right time for the state and medical societies in India to formulate a policy on use of anti venom and standard of care in management of snakebites. This would help optimal use of resources and availability of anti venom at all the centers.

Competing interests: No competing interests

06 February 2013
Satish K Nayak
Kasturba Medical College
Manipal, Karnataka, India.