The International Day of Attention to Snake Accidents (Ophidians) is celebrated this Monday, 19, and, according to the State Health Department (SES/TO), in the last five years Tocantins recorded 4,404 accidents with snakes. The purpose of the date is to bring awareness to the population about the impact of accidents with venomous animals, specifically with snake bites.
In Tocantins, the most common accidents with snakes are with pit vipers. Between 2017 and 2021, 2,899 accidents with this species were recorded. In second place are rattlesnake accidents, with 616 in the last five years.
The advisor for Zoonoses and Venomous Animals at SES/TO, Iza Alencar, explains that it is important to emphasize the importance of snakes in the environment, as animals that control the population of rodents and frogs, in addition to other snakes. Also according to the advisor, when causing accidents with people, snakes are only defending themselves. “Care must be reinforced in environments where their natural habitat is or places conducive to their accommodation, such as rubble and sheds”, she concludes.
Prevention is essential to avoid accidents with snakes, as explained by Iza. “About 80% of snakebite accidents occur on the extremities of the limbs (fingers, hands, feet, forearms and legs). personal protective equipment such as scraping gloves, closed shoes and leggings, can prevent most accidents that occur in our state”, he guides.
Other preventive measures are: not accumulating rubble and building materials; use screens, seals or sandbags on doors, windows and drains; keep the areas close to houses, gardens and backyards clean; keep the grass always cut; clearing vacant land; among others.
First aid and treatment
In case of accidents with snakes (ophidians) it is necessary to wash the bite site with soap and water; do not make a tourniquet or tourniquet; do not puncture, cut, burn, squeeze or suction the wound site; do not apply leaves, coffee powder or soil and do not drink alcohol. The main guideline is to take the victim immediately to the health service.
Treatment in cases of accidents is done with antivenom serum, according to each species and each situation. (Secom/TO)