Snake catcher gets bitten while trying to save woman

Oct 18, 2013, 06:40 IST | Nehalm Tripathi

A highly venomous bamboo pit viper bit 20-year-old Chand Sayyed Mustafa, a snake catcher, on his thumb, at Santosh Nagar near Film City, at around 4 pm on Monday, while he was trying to save a woman from the serpent that had fallen on her from a tree

He was rushed to Aarey Milk Colony Hospital for an anti-snakevenom (ASV) dose but since it was not available there, he wastaken to the BMC-run Cooper Hospital and admitted to the intensive care unit. 

Representation Pic

According to the family members, the hospital gave him eight ASV injections. They allege that his condition went from bad toworse due to the delay. Mustafa has been catching snakes for some years now. His family claims that he has rescued around 127 snakes. 

After Mustafa was admitted to Cooper Hospital, the facility asked the family to arrange 30 ASVs in parts. The antivenom wasarranged from KEM and JJ Hospitals. The family was put in a tough spot when the doctors asked for 10 more doses.

The family got in touch with NGO Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare, which helped them get in touch with hospitals andchemists, one of whom had the antivenom.

Chand is now in a better condition and has been moved out of the ICU. “The doctors asked us to get 10 ASVs, followed by 10 more injections. However, out of 30 total injections, only eight were used for the treatment. I have spent Rs 21, 600 only to buy the ASV injections,” said Sayyed Mustafa, Chand’s father.

“The patient was admitted with a snakebite and it was necessary to treat him with anti-snake venom. We asked for extra vaccines in case the doctor required them. We will have a discussion as to what to do with the unused vaccines,” said Dr Shashikant Wadekar, medical superintendent, Cooper Hospital.

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