Understanding Snake Venom and How It Works

A snake's venom is a complex mixture of biologically active substances that paralyze or kill prey. Biochemical analysis has determined that a snake's venom contains numerous enzymes; at least 26 enzymes have been detected such as proteolytic enzymes, hydrolases arginine ester, enzymes similar thrombin, collagenase, hyaluronidase, phospholipase, phosphodiesterases, acetylcholinesterase, ribonuclease, deoksiribokukleaze, NAD nucleotidase, lactate dehydrogenase, L - aminooksidaze and adenosine triphosphatase. Since poisons are primarily made of proteins, a bitten person will often experience hypersensitivity, i.e. anaphylactic shock.

The appearance of signs of snake venom poisoning and the development of consequences depends on a number of factors, such as: age and body weight, location and depth of bite, number of bites, how long did each bite last (i.e., amount of injected venom), level of snake aggression, type and size of snake, condition of the venomous system of the snake, pathogenic microorganisms present in the snake's mouth at the time of bite, and how soon the person reached the ER and received anti-venom.

A viper bite can often be recognized by the bite marks left behind. In a majority of cases, within 10 minutes from the bite it will start to swell, spreading from the bite location. If untreated within the first hour, it will quickly cover the entire bitten body party (for example, a hand or leg). In many cases, along with the swelling there will be local bleeding on the surface area. Due to swelling, the skin is very tight, shiny and sensitive to touch. Lymph nodes in a bitten part of the body soon will increase and become painful to touch. Within three hours of the bite, blisters filled with serous fluid can appear on a bitten part of the body. This development is often followed by an intensive pain in a bitten part of the body that spreads to other body parts.

Other symptoms include weakness, vomiting, excessive sweating, intestinal cramping, and sometimes loss of consciousness. Some patients mentioned numbness in the bitten part of the body or numbness in limbs. Some vipers have proteins in their venom that prevent blood clotting and cause bleeding from mucosa. Symptoms connected with this are excessive interior and exterior bleeding.

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