BLOOD TOXINS (HAEMOTOXIC)
Major haemotoxic snakes include –
BOOMSLANG, BIRD or TWIG SNAKE.
This type of venom is slow in comparison with the other two types mentioned. Effects can be seen after as little as 1 hour but can take a few days to manifest. The venom causes irregularities in the victim’s blood, preventing it from clotting. A bleeding tendency occurs starting with all the mucous membranes and progress to nose bleeds, bruises, blood is found in the urine and vomiting of blood. Anaemia and shock may develop and eventually kidney failure may set in. Slight pain and discomfort and haemorrhage at sight of bite, dizziness and headaches are known to occur.
Fibrin degradation products are cleared through the kidney and secondary renal failure is a potential complication of coagulopathy.
Death usually follows after 2 to 5 days. Antivenom can be administered after a few days and still work effectively however the kidneys would have been damaged by then. In the event that the antivenom is not obtained in time, whole blood and fresh freeze-dried plasma should be administered