Multistate Hunt for Antivenom Saves Michigan Man’s Life After Monocled Cobra Bite

   08.01.18

A bite from an exotic snake caused a whole lot of drama for Michigan doctors, after a Pinconning resident was bit by a monocled cobra sending doctors on a multistate hunt for the proper antivenom.

According to USA Today, the man was bit by an albino monocled cobra, a species native to South/Southeast Asia. They’re especially deadly because they are known to posses one of the fastest-acting snake venom in the world.

After being bit, the man fell nauseous and started vomiting approximately 20 minutes later.

He was initially admitted to a Bay City, Michigan-area hospital on July 14, but was later airlifted downstate to Detroit after his respiratory muscles became paralyzed and his breathing had stopped. The trip from Pinconning Township to Detroit is roughly 117 miles.

At this point, the drama really starts to build. . .

See, while doctors prepared for the man’s arrival, they reached out to the Toledo Zoo asking that eight vials of antivenom be sent immediately to Detroit Medical Center Harper Hospital.

“However, the generic antivenom, which covers many, but not all species of poisonous snakes, had little effect and the patient’s condition continued to worsen,” Jason Barczy, the medical center’s communications manager, told USA Today.

A family member eventually helped doctors identify the species of snake that bit the man, which narrowed down the type of antivenom required.

With the man clutching onto life, medical officials then turned to the Miami-Dade County Venom Response Program in Florida the morning of July 15. They quickly fast-tracked twenty vials of the appropriate antivenom to Detroit, where they were administered to the man that same afternoon.

He remains in the hospital, but is stable and on the road to recovery.

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