Snakes In The Grass! – Ghana Day 3

July 17th, 2010 by INMED

Snake Carpet Viper

 

Making rounds at Baptist Medical Center in Ghana – up near the northern border with Burkina Faso. Stunningly, a quarter of our hospital patients are here for snake bit! Now is the rainy season, when farmers are scrambling out to their fields to plant corn and millet. And awaiting in the foliage is this carpet viper. The nasty creature’s bite causes anticoagulation and hemorrhage. Those we attend to receive the old fashion “whole blood clotting time” in which a test tube is simply shaken for 20 minutes. If the blood clots (normal) patients are monitored. It is does not clot (abnormal) we treat them with antivenin. And in every case, I’m very careful where I walk!

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