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Tuesday, 27 July, 2021

A teenager lost her leg due to the lack of antiophidic serum in Venezuela

Sharoi Gil, 14, is the second victim of snakebite in Trujillo state, now she requires blood donors and medication. The teenager has already lost a leg due to a shortage of antiophidic serum in this health center.


Teenager Sharoi Gil Berrios, 14, was bitten by a butterfly- tiger snake and remains held in the Intensive Care Unit at Valera’s Hospital in Trujillo state because she lost her leg after the bite. Her relatives said that the girl urgently needs medication for her treatment.

Sharoi’s condition worsened due to the shortage of antiophidic serum in the region, and the delay in the arrival of this kind of medicine from elsewhere in Venezuela, due to the lack of gasoline.

Her leg was amputated because of the antivenom not arriving on time. She came on May 10, and the antidote arrived three days later. They applied it to her, but it did not result. The poison also affected part of her kidneys,” said Suleidi Berrios, mother of the girl, on the morning of May 22.

You must read Barinas, Chavez’s home state, has the highest rate of snakebite deaths

Calcium gluconate

The health institution provided her with the proper care, however, according to Sharoi’s mother, she requires daily medication that is not easily found.

“We are urgently looking for calcium gluconate, which she needs every twelve hours. I’ve been looking for it, but I can’t find it anywhere. It also needs bandages to make the cures, the adhesive, the concentrates to raise the hemoglobin. We are asking for blood donors because she uses six or seven bags of blood per day,” said Berrios.

 Cases increases

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Captain Luis Contreras, from the National Aquatic Spaces Institute, who travels all over Venezuela attending cases of snake bites, reported that in the last three months snake-bites cases increase due to the arrival of the rainy season in the country. The snakes come out of their burrows to look for dry areas, which are generally located in places where humans live.

In the last two months, the expert said, 36 cases of snake bites reported in different states of Venezuela. Five of them died due to the lack of antivenom. In Trujillo, a second case was admitted this week, which fortunately received the serum.

Contreras, who traveled from Zulia state to the hospital in Trujillo with the serum, said that Gil’s case occurred on the night of May 10, when the teenager was at home in a rural area in the state.

Her parents did everything possible, but she spent more than 72 hours without the antidote. The captain’s travel was more difficult by the severe gasoline shortage. 

On May 16, after efforts, doctors amputated her leg, due to complications. The girl, once recovered, will need a wheelchair, crutches, and even a prosthesis, so they expect any kind of help.

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