Youngster’s miraculous recovery from snakebite

THABAZIMBI – A 15-year old girl from the plaas Kaaldraai has recovered from the supposedly deadly poison of a snake on Saturday 7 March and was discharged on Wednesday.
Buang Molefe, who lives on the farm Kaaldraai on the Dwaalboom road and attends Fairfield Primary School, was busy collecting firewood on the farm when, just before 13:00, she was bitten on her left ankle by a snake as she picked up a pile of wood. According to her mother Sarah, the snake was black with no markings, but they could not identify it.
They were not too far from their house and Buang, screaming all the way, ran home, but collapsed before she reached her house. Some people carried her home and the neighbours called the ambulance, which arrived at about 14:00.
By 15:00 Buang was at the Thabazimbi Provincial Hospital where she showed signs of neurotoxic poisoning. She could not breathe, felt a pricking sensation, was nauseous, the wound bled profusely and she was salivating a lot.
She was given oxygen while her frantic mother looked on and tried to keep her daughter awake. Anti-venom could not be administered because the snake which had bitten her was not identified.
Arrangements were made for an urgent transfer to Polokwane when it was decided, on the grounds of the symptoms she presented, to give her snake serum for the bite of a neurotoxic snakebite, such as black mamba. This had immediate effect and even on the way to Polokwane she showed signs of improvement and positive reaction to the serum.
In Polokwane she was admitted to ICU, but recovered so well that by Wednesday she was discharged. It was a very happy and grateful Sarah, who collected her daughter from the Thabazimbi Hospital on Thursday morning.
In the treatment of snakebites it is important to take the snake along, so that medical staff will know which anti-venom to use. If the wrong anti-venom is administered the condition of the patient could worsen. It is also of utmost importance that the patient should be brought to hospital as soon as possible, especially if transport is available, instead of waiting for an ambulance.