In a shocking incident, a farmer in eastern China cut off his finger after being bitten by a poisonous snake to save his life. However, the doctors have said that there was no need to take such an extreme step. The 60-year-old farmer was cutting the firewood near the mountainside when the viper known as ‘five-step snake’ bit him. Due to the belief that victims will not be able to walk more than five paces before dying if bitten by the particular snake, the old man chopped off his finger to prevent the venom from spreading. After that, he wrapped up his hands on a piece of cloth and covered an 80 KM journey to Hangzhou to receive the treatment. Doctors could not reattach his finger as the victim had left the amputed part at the mountainside.
The doctors at the hospital said that the snake is not as lethal as people believe it to be. When the victim arrived at the hospital, he did not show any symptoms such as headache, breathing difficulties or bleeding from the gums, said Dr. Ren Jinping. However, the health officials have given the old farmer an anti-venom serum and cleaned his chopped off finger. Dr. Yuan Chengda said that there are other treatments available for snake-bitten victims. Cutting off the fingers is a drastic step because the five-step snake is not that toxic. He has been advising his patients not to take such dramatic measures.
The Hospital has received around 1200 such cases this year. This figure is more than any other hospital in Hangzhou. Hospital authorities have told that almost 30 percent of patients deal with the injury in the wrong way before reaching the hospital. Some of the people chop off their organ, some even try to burn their skin to eliminate the effect of the venom. The ‘five-step snake’ belongs to the species called ‘Deinagkistrodon’. The venom of this snake can cause bleeding, swelling, nausea, and pain.