The Pakistan Medical Research Council (PMRC) has launched the world’s first comprehensive snakebite protocol called ‘A2 Snakebite Management in Asia and Africa’ for use by doctors to treat snakebite in the key areas of Asia and Africa.
Snakebite has been described as a ‘neglected disease’ and yet the need for better guidelines has been frequently discussed, but action has been conspicuously lacking. Pakistan published a National Snakebite Protocol in 2008, based on a comprehensive analysis of the conditions and infrastructure present in frontline hospitals that deal with snakebite.
Following the success of the local protocol, PMRC started work on assisting with comprehensive guidelines for Africa and Asia in a bid to contribute a major reduction in mortality. The use of western medical textbooks has led to sub optimal anti-snake venom (ASV) dosages, ASV being given to patients who are not envenomed and too much ASV being given due to the lack of clear clinical endpoints for ASV therapy and many other problems in treatment.
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