viper, snake, cobra_311.
(photo credit: Kaplan Medical Center)
Snake season has begun as the creatures end their winter slumber, hide in tall
weeds and have glands full of venom. A four-year-old girl from Kibbutz Sa’ad in
the south was taken this week to Beersheba’s Soroka University Medical Center
after being bitten by a viper.
She was hospitalized in the pediatric
intensive care unit for treatment.
Children on the kibbutz were helping
to clean the public areas for Passover.
While moving junk from a gravel
path, a viper suddenly appeared from behind a bush and bit the little girl on
the sole of her foot. A paramedic who lives on the kibbutz treated her and took
her to the hospital.
A snake trapper caught the reptile and killed
Dr. Yitzhak Lazar, a senior physician in the intensive care unit,
said that her foot was very swollen, showing signs of advanced spread of the
venom. The girl was treated with venom antidote against viper bites, causing her
condition to improve enough for her to be transferred to pediatrics, where she
is under observation.
Prof. Mati Lipschitz, chairman of Soroka’s
pediatrics department and a toxicologist, gave tips on how to avoid snake
The most important thing is prevention, he said. Do not raise
rocks or put your hands into bushes, where snakes and dangerous insects may be
Snakes prefer to escape or only to threaten people or other
animals rather than to attack. If you encounter a snake, the best thing is to
try to withdraw slowly and carefully.
Do not throw sticks or stones at a
snake or try to catch it by the neck.
In the event of snakebite, calm the
victim and take him immediately for medical treatment.
Do not use a
tourniquet on the affected limb. Never try to suck the poison out.
cut the skin to try to remove the venom. Do not cool the place of the bite with
ice or anything else.
Instead, attach a stiff object to the limb to
Bring along the dead snake or take a detailed photo of
it when you go to the hospital so the doctors can decide on the proper
Do not waste time trying to catch the snake, however.