Snakes, while often misunderstood creatures, are frightening animals. These devious reptiles have become the stuff of nightmares for many regular people – from the venomous assassins who hide in the brush or the heavyweight giants who constrict their prey.
A graphic picture of a snake attack has gone viral, featuring the possible repercussions of encountering these venomous repitles.
An unidentified 13-year-old girl from Venezuela was unlucky enough to have been bitten by a snake. The snake’s venom caused severe necrosis, shriveling her leg down to the bone and turning it completely black.
Warning: the following photo contains disturbing materials not suitable for minors. Reader discretion is advised.
Necrosis is the premature death of cells – essentially meaning the affected tissue simply rots away.
According to the photo shared by the 'juventudmedica' Instagram account – the teenager initially received natural remedies from the indigenous culture she was from. However those remedies could not save her leg - as she was brought to Carcaras, Venezuela, for medical treatment after one month.
According to Dr. Arun Ghosh, “Snake venom is very complicated and depends on the species of snake.
'But the picture shows clearly severe tissue necrosis that will need amputation, though she still may die from this due to the nature of the poison.
‘The whole lower leg is black, it’s spreading up. Looking at the rest of her body she’s showing signs of muscle wastage from the poison. Her other leg is thin. It's likely she will still die.”
Apparently the laceration to her artery leg from the snake bite and the following bleeding resulted in a condition known as compartment syndrome. This serious condition is characterized by pressure building in a compartment, such as the leg, causing a decrease of blood flowing to tissues is prevented.
This can cause severe tissue damage along with a loss of body function or even death.
Additionally, necrosis has led to rhabdomyolysis in which muscle tissue will begin to die within her body. Rhabdomyolysis releases the muscle fibers into the blood causing damage to kidneys. If paired with low blood pressure, Rhabdomyolysis may cause death.
This case only shows that we should never neglect snake bites. Always seek prompt medical attention if suffered a bite.
“This girl has had classic rural treatment which is often only able to treat local infection secondary to the bite (at best say equal to antibiotics),” Dr Ghosh said.
“But she is unlikely to have received anti-venom treatment (which entails giving treatment to stop blood clotting) to keep her blood flowing through her body,” the doctor added.
This is why we should always seek professional medical help whenever a snake, or any animal for that matter, bites us. We never know the extent of damages until it’s too late.
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