- The global problem of venomous snakebite continues to attract attention despite it being described as a “neglected” issue. The current focus of the World Health Organization (WHO) remains anti– snake venom quality, although “availability and sustainability” of supply are consistently described as the key issues. Sustainability of antivenom supply has been elusive, with cost and pricing in developing countries being cited as the major reasons. The current WHO approach fails to explore the cost issue, but rather focuses on quality improvements, which may well adversely affect the costs of a product already perceived to be ‘unaffordable.’ The reference to cost and price indicates a marketing-based perspective may well give more relevant solutions to the snakebite crisis.
- The “crisis in anti snake venom supply” has been an enduring problem. Despite the frequency with which it appears in the literature, it remains unquantified and an enigma. If there is a serious shortage of anti snake venom (ASV), why has this not been resolved? Anti snake venoms are produced, and yet many suppliers are described as leaving the market. There appears to be a problem in the call for highly effective, high-quality, and cheap anti venoms that contributes to this result of suppliers leaving the market.
- Injured patients in crevasses who are suspected of having sustained spinal injuries should ideally be extricated after being immobilized in a horizontal position on a stretcher and having a cervical collar applied. Sometimes, however, horizontal stabilization is not possible, because the crevasse is too narrow, and the patient needs to be stabilized in a vertical position. In such cases an extrication device can be a useful adjunct. The Kendrick Extrication Device™ stabilizes the position of the body and maintains firm support of the head, neck, and torso.
- A frequent tenet of snakebite literature is what has been described as the “worldwide shortage of antisnake venom” (ASV) and the demand for greater production. Antisnake venom is the mainstay of snakebite management, and thus this principle of “shortage” can impact the view of policy makers when it comes to framing solutions to the problem. This paper presents a model to enable policy makers to assess the amount and utilization of ASV in their areas. The model assesses ASV usage according to 2 criteria: risk and wastage.
- The prevention and management of venomous snakebite in the world's mountains present unique challenges. This paper presents a series of practical, clinically sound recommendations for management of venomous snakebite in a mountain environment. The authors performed an extensive review of current literature using search engines and manual searches. They then fused the abundant knowledge of snakebite with the realities of remote first aid and mountain rescue to develop recommendations. A summary is provided of the world's most troublesome mountain snakes and the mechanisms of toxicity from their bites.
- Snakebites continue to be a major medical concern in India. However, there is very little hard evidence of a numerical nature to enable us to understand which species are responsible for mortality and morbidity. For many decades, the concept of the “Big 4” Snakes of Medical Importance has reflected the view that 4 species are responsible for Indian snakebite mortality—the Indian cobra (Naja naja), the common krait (Bungarus caeruleus), the Russell's viper (Daboia russelii) and the saw-scaled viper (Echis carinatus).
- Core to incident prevention strategies is the need to identify factors that influence the decision-making process linked to risk-taking behavior. Participants’ perception of risk and associated norms and practices may play a key role in relation to decisions to engage with a risk and subsequent risk-management strategies. A range of factors that influence the perception of risk and risk-taking behavior are discussed. It is proposed that prevention strategies need to be sensitive to the context of participation, the attitudes and beliefs of participants, and the motives for participation.
- Each hurricane season, emergency-preparedness deployment teams including but not limited to the Office of Force Readiness and Deployment of the US Public Health Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Deployment Medical Assistance Teams, Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams, and the US Army and Air Force National Guard are at risk for deploying into hurricane-stricken areas that harbor indigenous hazards, including those posed by venomous snakes. North America is home to 2 distinct families of venomous snakes: 1) Viperidae, which includes the rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths; and 2) Elapidae, in which the only native species are the coral snakes.
- Spacecraft travel higher and faster than aircraft, making breakup potentially less survivable. As with aircraft breakup, the dissipation of lethal forces via spacecraft breakup around an organism is likely to greatly increase the odds of survival. By employing a knowledge of space and aviation physiology, comparative physiology, and search-and-rescue techniques, we were able to correctly predict and execute the recovery of live animals following the breakup of the space shuttle Columbia. In this study, we make what is, to our knowledge, the first report of an animal, Caenorhabditis elegans, surviving the atmospheric breakup of the spacecraft that was supporting it and discuss both the lethal events these animals had to escape and the implications for search and rescue following spacecraft breakup.