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Mumbai woman runs from pillar to post for anti-venom after snake bites son

Pray that you don’t get bitten by a venomous snake, becausefinding anti-venom to treat the bite might be a tedious process, as the family of 18-year-old Aditya Pawar found out, to their shock. On October 19, Pawar, a resident of Dombivli, had taken his dog out for a walk when they came across a snake. While trying to save his pet from the reptile, he got bitten on his right hand by the venomous snake. The incident occurred at 8 pm, after which the boy tied a handkerchief to the bite and rushed to a municipal hospital in Dombivli (w).

Doctors at the hospital injected him with anti-venom and asked him to shift to a better hospital for further treatment. He was taken to Chhatrapati Shivaji Hospital in Kalwa, where they had no bed for him and officials asked him to go to Sion hospital. Pawar, along with this mother Ranjana, reached the facility at midnight, where, according to his mother, he was made to wait in the casualty ward the entire night.

He was finally shifted to a medical ward at 10 am. Authorities at Sion Hospital claimed they didn’t have enough anti-snake venom serum (ASVS) and asked the mother to arrange eight vials of ASVS.


Saved in the nick of time: 18-year-old Dombivli resident Aditya Pawar had to undergo dialysis after the venom of a snake entered his kidneys; (above) the bite to his right hand

“I had no idea from where to arrange for the required injections. A relative put me on to Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare (RAWW), who helped me get the medicines,” said Ranjana Pawar.

RAWW procured the fluid from Haffkine Institute in Parel and passed it on the patient. The victim was then put on dialysis from Monday and he finished his fourth dialysis session yesterday.

“My son is passing blood instead of urine. He vomits as soon as he eats something. If the treatment would have begun on time, he wouldn’t have had to suffer so much,” said Ranjana.

“When he was bitten, the venom passed into his kidneys. Thus, we are trying to remove it from his kidneys through dialysis. We are expecting visible improvement after the sixth dialysis session. However, this may require 10-15 days,” said a doctor from the hospital, on condition of anonymity.

Pawan Sharma, founder of RAWW, said, “We generally ask people to go to civic-run hospitals in case of a snake bite. But if they don’t have ASVS, it becomes very difficult for the patient’s family to arrange for the same.”

MiD DAY had recently reported (‘Snake catcher gets bitten while trying to save woman’, October 18) about how the unavailability of anti-venom had caused a snake-catcher residing near Film City in Goregaon (E) several problems. Relatives of the 20-year-old faced a lot of difficulties when doctors asked them to procure the ten more vials of ASVS.

Dr Nirmala Barse, deputy dean of Sion Hospital, said, “Even though the patient was in the casualty ward, he was taken care of by on-duty staff. We gave him the required vaccinations and saline drips. The patient’s condition is not due to any delay on the part of the hospital.” 

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