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I have been reading how Australia is the only country in the world that has snake venom detection kits. They said swab from the bite site, blood, or urine allows the doctor to select the type of snake antivenom that should be used. It surprised me that only one in ten cases of snakebite need antivenom because often the snake injects very little venom. That is why I am wondering could you tell me more about antivenoms. I would appreciate any info about this interesting topic.

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Important is to know that antivenoms should be given only if there is evidence of significant poisoning. In snakebite, signs of systemic poisoning are nausea, vomiting, ptosis, or positive laboratory findings such as coagulation defect. Fang marks alone are not an indication of antivenom as some people might think. However, after a Red-back spider bite, if the only problem is moderate local pain, then antivenom is not indicated at that stage. You should also know Australian antivenoms are established as the safest in the world. Interesting is that snake handlers who have suffered reactions in the past, have had minimal or no problems with repeat antivenom therapy. Off course, this should be done after appropriate premedication. Most antivenoms are given by the intravenous route, and important is to know that skin testing with antivenom for allergy to antivenom is unreliable and waste of time. Problem is that this unnecessary process mayo delay urgent therapy. In the other hand, it is wise to give premedication before most antivenoms.
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