Snake’s alive

Dr Willie Barnard

LEPHALALE — Local resident and land owner, Richard Gardiner, wanted to know the correct way to handle a victim in the case of a venomous snake bite. His quest for the correct answer led him to Dr Willie Barnard, a local doctor who takes a keen interest in snake bites and has handled such cases for the 28 years he has been in Lephalale.
Together they decided to share this information with the Lephalale community at large and so Richard organised the Snake Bite presentation that took place at the Nederduitsch Hervormde Church hall in Onverwacht at 18:00 on Wednesday 8th March.
In his presentation, Dr Barnard kept things very simple and explained to the audience the most effective way to keep a patient alive while getting them to the hospital as quickly as possible. To do this, every bakkie should have Dr Barnard’s suggested snake kit behind the seat. A small investment that can really save a life. Once at the hospital the doctors can then take over and treat the patient accordingly.
In his talk, he also shared information on the classification of venomous snakes and those most commonly found in our area. With cytotoxic snakes including the puff adder, southern stiletto snake and the Mozambique spitting cobra; while neurotoxic snakes include the mamba and the snouted cobra. We also get the boom slang which falls in to a category of its own with a venom that thins the blood and bites from which are rare. He informed the audience on how snake anti venom is produced and the dangers associated with the administration of it of why it should only be done in hospital by a doctor.
Richard received great support from people to make this event happen and he thanked all of them who assist to ensure the success of the event.
A truly informative evening that allowed the over 130 people that attended to leave a little wiser with regards to our slithery friends.
For the list of items in the snake kit please call Richard on 083 943 9963. It is also wise to have number of Marius Koekemoer on your cell phone’s speed dial list. Marius is the local herpetologist and expert reptile capturer and be contacted on 072 174 6970. Marius can assist in both the removal and identification of snakes.

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