Demographic, epidemiologic and clinical profile of snake bite cases, presented to Emergency Medicine department, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Author(s): Jarwani B, Jadav P, Madaiya M


Aim: Snake bite is a common medical emergency faced mainly by the rural populations in tropical and subtropical countries with heavy rainfall and humid climate. Although India is a single largest contributor of snake bite cases, reporting is very poor. There is hardly any publication of the same from Gujarat state that is developing at a good pace. Hence, we aimed to study the snake bite cases with particular attention to demography, epidemiology, and clinical profile.

Settings and design: The present descriptive, observational study was carried out at the Emergency Medicine Department of a tertiary care center in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. This department is one if the firsts to get recognized by the Medical Council of India.

Materials and methods: This is a cross-sectional single-center study. Cases were entered into the prescribed form, and detailed information regarding demographic, epidemiologic, and clinical parameters was entered.

Statistical method: Data were analyzed using Epi2000. Means and frequencies for each variable were calculated.

Results: Majority (67.4%) of the snake bite victims were in the age group between 15 and 45 years. Majority were male victims (74.2%). 71% victims of snake bite lived in rural areas. Farmers and laborers were the main victims. 61.2% incidents took place at night time or early morning (before 6 a.m.). 64% patients had bite mark on the lower limb. 40% victims had seen the snake. Eight patients had snake bite, but were asymptomatic. 52% had neuroparalytic manifestation, 34% were asymptomatic, and 9.6% had hemorrhagic manifestation. 14% cases received treatment within 1 h of the bite and 64.84% within 1-6 h after the bite. First aid given was in the form of application of tourniquet (16.2%), local application of lime, chillies, herbal medicine, etc., (1%). 2.20% cases were sensitive to anti-snake venom. Only three patients died.

Conclusion: In this region (Gujarat), neuroparalytic manifestation of snake bite is more prevalent. Cobra and krait are the commonest types of poisonous snakes. The time of seeking treatment has reduced because of awareness about snake bite treatment and better transport and ambulance facility. Mortality is very less in well-equipped hospitals due to early initiation of treatment with anti-snake venom.

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