shriefie wrote:That part about the electrocution for venomous snakebite is absolutely true, I've seen it with a copperhead bite.
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Postgrad Med 1987 Oct;82(5):32
Another warning about electric shock for snakebite.
Publication Type: Letter
Postgrad Med 1987 Aug;82(2):42
Don't use electric shock for snakebite.
Ann Emerg Med 1988 Mar;17(3):254-256
Electric shock does not save snakebitten rats.
Howe NR, Meisenheimer JL Jr
Department of Dermatology, Medical University of South Carolina,
A team of missionary doctors from Ecuador recently described striking
in the treatment of venomous snakebites with a series of brief,
low-current electric shocks applied to the bit site. We designed a
randomized, controlled, blinded test of their methods in laboratory rats. Venom of the
Common Lancehead, Bothrops atrox, was injected subcutaneously into rats in a
series of increasing doses. Half of each dose group then was shocked
with a device used by the Ecuadoran group. Envenomated animals developed
hemorrhagic ulcers at the injection sites, the size of which was strongly related to
venom dose. Electric shock did not influence the development of morbidity or the
eventual ulcer size in sublethally envenomated animals, nor did shocks
reduce mortality in lethally envenomated animals. We conclude that shocks are
without effect on snakebitten rats, and we discuss implications of our findings
for the treatment of snakebitten human beings.
Electric shocks are ineffective in treatment of lethal effects of
rattlesnake envenomation in mice.
Johnson EK, Kardong KV, Mackessy SP
Department of Physiological Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater
Electrical shocks, even crudely delivered from 'stun guns' and gasoline
engine spark plugs, have been reported to be effective in the treatment of snake
bite. We thus applied similar electric shocks to mice artificially
injected with reconstituted rattlesnake venom at various LD50 multiples. Those
envenomated mice treated with electric shock survived no better than the
controls. We thus found no evidence that electric shocks crudely administered
had any life saving effect in mice.
Ann Emerg Med 1991 Jun;20(6):659-661
Failure of electric shock treatment for rattlesnake envenomation.
Dart RC, Gustafson RA
Section of Emergency Medicine, University of Arizona Health Sciences
The use of high-voltage electric shock therapy for the treatment of snake
venom poisoning has recently gained popularity in the United States. We
present a case that documents the dangerous, ineffective application of
electric shock to the face of a patient envenomated by a Great Basin
rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis lutosus). The successful use of antivenin in
this critically ill, antivenin-allergic patient is described.
It's believed that the impeded venom actions may have resulted from muscle spasms related to the electric shocks, rather than electricity transmogrifying the venom. To those who have witnessed it firsthand, I would ask what snake, where was the bite, and was the patient taken to the hospital afterward? I ask, because the military has looked at these devices for over twenty years, and has never found that there is enough evidence to issue such a device to a STP/MSH (which would be the case if it worked, but was bloody expensive) much less to the Corpsman and medics that are with the units operating in areas with adders, rattlesnakes, copperheads, cotton-mouths, and other creepy-killy things. They issue all kinds of crazy stuff that is rarely used, if it works
just in case it has to be used. (Extreme cold weather thermometers in a desert environment? MOPP gear where there is zero chance of chem warfare?)
ETA: Extreme cold weather thermometers are for artic conditions, not cold desert nights. Just because I am anal like that.