What are the effects of snake venom?

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Snake venom has several effects on the victims which includes damage to the blood cells and the respiratory system. In some cases, the individual can experience convulsions, nausea and even unconsciousness. Other potential symptoms include dizziness, disorientation and breathing difficulties. If an individual has been bitten by a snake, you have to act fast in order to counteract the effects of venom.

Paralysis of the muscles

The venom of some snakes such as the coral snake can cause a harmful effect on the muscles. This is called neurotoxic venom that works by relaxing the muscles up to the point that the individual could no longer control them. This is very damaging to the heart as it eventually ceases to beat. Even though neurotoxic venoms are fairly painless, they are highly toxic to other mammals.

Neurotoxic venom produced by coral snakes and cobras affects the nervous system resulting to seizures and even death. Take note that bites from snakes that have neurotoxic venom are considered lethal.

Damage to the blood cells

Snake venom
Headache is one of the symptoms if the snake venom is hemolytic.

Snake venom can also be hemotoxic which means that it can cause detrimental effects on the blood. The red blood cells are destroyed by this type of snake venom which also disrupts the blood clotting process and cause damage to the vital organs in the body. The other symptoms include disorientation, nausea, vomiting, headache and dizziness. Pit vipers have hemotoxic venom.

After an individual sustains a bite from a snake with hemotoxic venom, the blood pressure drops to facilitate the other effects such as clotting. The venom will also attack other tissues including the organs, thus inflammation occurs. A bite from a snake with hemotoxic venom can cause a lot of pain and cause permanent tissue damage or even death if appropriate emergency first aid care is not provided immediately.

Muscular damage

Some snakes in the wild have venom that is myotoxic in which it attacks the muscles. Obviously, this results to the stiffness of the muscles as well as the occurrence of muscular spasms and convulsions. In some cases, there is a feeling of intense thirst and the stiffening of the throat as well difficulty breathing and tongue thickening. Some species of vipers possess the myotoxic venom.

What you can do

If an individual is bitten by a snake, you have to act fast. You have to advise the individual to stay still, calm and avoid any unnecessary movement. Do not attempt to suck the poison out of the bite using your mouth. If there is a cut in your mouth, the venom can enter your bloodstream.

Always keep the airway of the individual open and pay close attention to the breathing patterns. Do not waste time and bring the individual to a doctor or to the emergency department at the nearest hospital as soon as possible.

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