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Young boy dies of snake bite

A 12-year-old boy died after he was bitten by a snake while guava picking with his brother near their house last August 6, in Sitio Hubasan, Barangay San Juan, Sogod, Southern Leyte.
Going home that day, the two brothers noticed something is sneaking on the grassy part area near their house. The victim “Jhonson” thought that it was a bird hiding, but found a rat instead. He ran after the rat but was unexpectedly bitten by the snake on his left thigh, as reported. His brother, Jhonloyd, hurriedly ran to their house and informed their older sister.
Still on his senses, the victim managed to wash the wounded area with soap and water. However, afterwards he felt shortness of breath and said, “Gusto pako mabuhi.” (I still want to live.)
The family brought the victim to the nearest hospital, 20-minutes away, carried him on a motorcycle driven by a neighbor. The young boy told the driver, “Pakusog ug dagan ya kay gusto pako mabuhi,” the family related. (Drive fast because I still want to live.)
The victim was admitted to the Sogod District Hospital and was immediately attended to, but the attending physician referred the family to Tacloban as the victim needed an anti-venom, which was not reportedly available in Sogod.
The family related that the victim died on their way to Tacloban.
The family described the snake as black, has a yellow color in the stomach with a length of an adult arm and identified it as “hagwason.” They have noticed the snake around the area for quite some time.
In an interview, Salvacion Oppus Yñiguez Memorial Provincial Hospital (SOYMPH) Provincial Medical Center Chief Dr. Romeo Dax Roa said that there is no anti-venom for snake bites in the province.
“Kinahanglan man gud na ug specialist, Toxicologist, maong I refer ra gyud na sa EVMC”
He also confirmed that anti-venom can easily expire that’s why the province cannot easily obtain.
In the region only Eastern Visayas Medical Center (EVRMC) in Tacloban have snake bites and anti-venom programs in Region 8 which can take four hours long drive.
The Department of Health (DOH) advices that the patient must be given proper first aid treatment before it reaches the hospital: Lay him/her down in a comfortable and safe position, make sure to immobilize the bitten limb with a splint or sling; apply pressure if necessary and avoid interference with the bite wound (incisions, rubbing, vigorous cleaning, massage, application of herbs or chemicals) as this may infect, increase absorption of the venom, and worsen local bleeding.

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