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Each year, snakebites hospitalise 26 people for kidney failure

Civic-run KEM and Sion Hospitals each treat around 36 cases of snake attacks every year, of which roughly five-six have to undergo dialysis

Kidney failure caused by snake attacks in different parts of Mumbai is becoming an increasing concern for civic facilities. While in most cases, renal failure is reversed with medicines, a few snakebite victims have to undergo regular dialysis sessions for atleast three weeks before they recover. One such patient, Raviul Kazi (40), is now admitted in the medical intensive care unit (MICU) of KEM Hospital after a viper snake bit his arm on March 1. He is undergoing daily dialysis sessions at the civic-run hospital after he was diagnosed with acute renal failure (ARF). “My neighbours noticed the snake a few feet away from our house and were afraid to go near it. I managed to get hold of it to release it away from our neighbourhood when it bit my left wrist,” said Kazi, a Mira Road resident.

Dr N K Hase, head of the nephrology at KEM, said that Kazi would need to undergo dialysis for three-four weeks before the ARF is reversed.

“Every three months, we get one or two patients who require dialysis after suffering from ARF following snakebites.

While viper snakes cause mild to acute renal failure, cobras and the Indian krait cause neuroparalysis. Patients who suffer ARF get blood clots which compromise the kidney’s functioning,” said Dr Hase.

At least two to three snakebite cases are treated in the hospital every month. “Several cases are referred from places like Alibaug and Raigad but I’ve treated many with ARF following a snakebite from Chembur, Mulund, Bhandup, and other suburbs,” he said.

Yearly, Sion Hospital sees at least 26 cases of mild to acute renal failure caused by viper snakes.

Dr Trupti Trivedi, head of the artificial kidney dialysis unit, said, “On an average, we treat six ARF cases a year, and another 20 cases of mild renal failure which can be treated with medicines. However, the hospital gets more cases of neuroparalysis caused by cobras. Such cases are referred to us from places like Alibaug and these patients require ventilator support.”

“We also get snakebite patients from Powai, Panvel, Bhandup and Mulund. The acute renal failure patients need at least three weeks to recover,” she added.

10,000
Number of people who die due to snakebites across the country every year

3
Number of snakebite cases that KEM and Sion Hospitals treat each month

5
Number of the patients who suffer acute renal failure each year owing to snake bites and require regular dialysis sessions at these hospitals

20
Number of patients who suffer mild renal failure after viper snake attacks every year

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