The toxic snakes are classified into five families:
This family contains about 1400 species, representing 75 percent of all snake genera and 78 percent of all snake species on the planet. Approximately 400 Colubridae species have small immobile fangs or expanded solid teeth at the maxilla’s posterior end. About a third of Colubrid species have rear fangs that deliver toxic saliva during a chewing motion. Mountain racers, Western and Eastern hognose snakes, parrot snakes, rat snakes, wandering garter snakes, and others are examples.
This family comprises African and Middle Eastern burrowing asps or stilleto snakes (also known as burrowing or mole vipers or adders, false vipers, side-stabbing snakes), which have very long front fangs used for immobilizing their prey by a side-swiping motion.
These snakes have short and fixed front fangs that can expand up to 10 mm in length. Cobras, Kraits, and Coral Snakes are just a few examples.
These snakes have long, curved, hinged front fangs that are channelized into the shape of a hypodermic needle.
Although all sea snakes are poisonous, they only bite seldom.
The cobra has a hood with a double or single spectacle mark on the dorsal side, but it also has an oval marking encircled by an ellipse. The area around the spectacle mark on the neck is darker than the rest of the back and typically sprinkled with little golden dots. Because the joints and neck of a deceased cobra grow stiff, the hood cannot be seen. On the bottom of the hood, there are two black patches and three black bands. The scales in the caudal region are doubled. In the area where the hood meets the body, there is a white band. Brown or dark in color. It reaches a maximum length of about 2 meters. The maxillary bone reaches beyond the palate. Poisons fangs are followed by 1 or 2 small teeth. The neck is dilatable.
It’s a steel-blue color with single or double white bands across the back and a creamy-white belly, and it shines a lot. It measures one to 1.5 meters in length. In the anterior region, the stripes are not very distinct. Large shields encircle the king’s head. On either side of the bottom lip, there are four shields. The central row of hexagonal scales runs the length of the back. The tail has a round shape. The plates under the tail, like the plates on the belly, are complete and undivided.
They range in length from 1.5 to 2 meters. The tail is enlarged at the tip and finishes abruptly. On the back, it bears a jet black 5cm wide cross-stripe that alternates with a deep yellow band of the same width. On the neck, there is a black mark that extends up to the eyes.
They have a flat, hefty, triangular head with a white V-shaped mark on it that points forward. Along the back, it features three rows of diamond-shaped black or brown dots, with the outer two rows of spots encircled with white margins. It has a pale body with dark semi-lunar markings on it. It narrows as it approaches its short tail. The full broad plates on the abdomen, the little scales on the skull, and the shield behind the tail separated into two rows can all be used to identify it. It is heard hissing continuously and loudly.
They’re brown in color, half a meter long, and have a wavy white line on either flank of the back, with diamond-shaped sections in between. It has a triangular head with a white mark that looks like a bird’s footprint or an arrow on the upper surface. The tail is tapered and short. The distinctive traits are broad belly plates with brown or dark patches, small scales on the skull, and full shields beneath the tail.
A pit viper has a pit located between the nostrils and the eyes.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Fear is the most prevalent symptom of a snake bite, particularly the fear of a quick and terrible death. The person may become semi-conscious as a result of the fright, with cold, clammy skin, a weak pulse, and rapid breathing. Within minutes of the bite, these emotional symptoms occur. It can cause psychological trauma and even death in some cases. Tetanus or gas gangrene is possible side effects.
Cobra 12mg, Russell’s viper 15mg, echis 8mg, krait 6mg.
Cobra half to 6 hours, viper one to two days.
Paracetamol can be used to treat mild to moderate discomfort. If pain is severe, numerous experts advise using narcotic analgesics like pentazocine or pethidine sparingly, even though this can be dangerous in some circumstances, such as elapid bites, where CNS depression may occur. Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines should not be used because they can create stomach erosions and cause chronic gastric bleeding in patients with incoagulable blood, such as those who have been bitten by a snake.
Corticosteroids, which were once regularly supplied, are now only recommended for allergic reactions to antivenom. Antihistamines are the same way. Patients should be made to lie on their side with their heads down to avoid aspiration, as vomiting is a frequent early indication of systemic envenoming. Intravenous chlorpromazine can be used to treat persistent vomiting. Intramuscular and subcutaneous injections should be avoided, particularly in people with incoagulable blood, because they can cause hematomas. Venepuncture sites should be covered with pressure dressings to avoid oozing. While some experts advise taking preventive antibiotics to avoid infection.
The Spanish fly [blister beetle] is two centimeters long and 0.6 centimeters wide. The dried body powder is greyish-brown in color and contains sparkling green particles. Cantharidin is the active ingredient. It’s utilized as irritation on the outside. The Indian fly [beetle] is 2.5 centimeters long and 0.8 centimeters wide. It has 2.9 percent cantharidin in it. It may be absorbed quickly from any surface, even the skin.
After 2 to 3 hours, redness and burning discomfort appear on the skin, followed by vesication. Internal administration produces symptoms in half to two hours. A burning sensation in the mouth and throat is followed by stomach discomfort, nausea and vomiting of bloody mucus, extreme thirst, and trouble swallowing and speaking. A dull discomfort in the loins develops later, and the urine is sparse and blood-colored, despite an increased desire to pass urine. There may be priapism, and tenesmus is common. Pregnant women experience absorption. In severe circumstances, the patient may become prostrated, experience convulsions, and die while in a coma.
15 to 30mg of cantharidin, or 1.5 to 3g of powdered cantharides.
24 to 36 hours.
Stomach wash, demulcents, and symptomatic.
POST MORTEM APPEARANCES
Inflammation and vesication can be seen in the mouth, stomach, and intestinal canal. Insect particles might be observed adhering to the mucosa. There is bleeding in the renal pelvis and bladder, and the kidneys are highly irritated. Ecchymoses and irritated bladder mucosa are possible. Hemorrhages can be seen on the surface of the heart and in the endocardium. The lungs may be oedematous, and blood-stained mucus may be present in the airways.
CIRCUMSTANCES OF POISONING
Accidental poisoning can occur when a counter-irritant is applied externally. It’s only utilized for homicidal motives on a few occasions. It is used as an aphrodisiac, however, its effectiveness is questionable. It’s used for an illegal abortion.
These are eight-legged arthropods having a hollow sting in the last joint of their tail that communicates with deadly glands via a duct. The venom is a colorless, transparent toxalbumen that might be classed as hemolytic or neurotoxic. It has a higher toxicity than snakes, but just a small amount is injected. Except in children, mortality is quite low. Scorpions range in color from light yellow to black.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
If the scorpion sting contains hemolytic venom, the reaction is mostly local and mimics a viper snake bite, however, the scorpion sting will only have one hole in the reddish area. Oedema, discomfort, and reddening will occur in the extremity. This normally lasts between an hour and two hours. A neurotoxic venom produces symptoms that are similar to strychnine poisoning. In most cases, there is no market reaction in the immediate vicinity. Paralysis causes nausea, vomiting, agitation, fever, various types of paralysis, convulsions, coma and cyanosis, respiratory depression, and death.
Above the sting site, a tourniquet should be inserted. Pack the sting in ice, incise, suction, and cleanse the wound with mild ammonia, borax, or potassium permanganate solution. To relieve pain, a local anesthetic is injected into the area. For most species, a particular antivenin is available. Intravenous calcium gluconate is useful for reducing local edema. To alleviate excitation and convulsions, barbiturates should be used, but morphine should not be used. Atropine is beneficial in the prevention of pulmonary edema.
BEES AND WASPS
Bee, wasp, hornet, and ant venom are made up of a diverse combination of biological substances ranging from simple amines to complex proteins and enzymes. Humans experience painful and even lethal reactions. Localized reactions are common. Severe systemic responses are uncommon. Histamine is found in venom. Pain, redness, and minor swelling are all symptoms of a local reaction at the stung site. Stings to the mouth, throat, and occasionally the face, neck, or limbs induce edema and blockage of the larynx and pharynx.
Multiple stings can cause systemic toxic reactions. There is a gastrointestinal problem as well as shock. Unconsciousness may accompany vomiting and diarrhea. If the assault is not fatal, it lasts for 24 hours.
The anaphylactic reaction might happen right away or take up to 20 minutes. Respiratory distress, faintness, and unconsciousness are all present. A rash may appear. Death might happen in as little as 2 to 15 minutes.
Apply a ligature and incise it above the sting spot. It is necessary to find and remove the sting. Iodine tincture or antihistamine cream applied locally can help. To fight systemic reactions, adrenaline is given. An intravenous infusion of ACTH 25mg in a liter of normal saline is given. Urticaria and edema can benefit from intravenous calcium.
They have segmented bodies with a pair of legs on each segment and claws on the first segment, which are used to inject venom. They range in length from two to several centimeters. It could be greenish-black or black in color.
Swelling and necrosis of the skin, paralysis, and contracture of the limbs, heart abnormalities, arthritis, and meningitis are all possible symptoms.
The venoms are either cytotoxic or neurotoxic, and they cause ascending motor paralysis or damage to peripheral nerve ends by acting on the myoneural junction or peripheral nerve endings. Localized edema and muscle spasms begin, eventually affecting the back, shoulder, thighs, legs, arms, and face muscles. Circulatory collapse, convulsions, and delirium are all present. It’s easy to mix up tetanus and strychnine poisoning. The patient is given antivenin and adrenaline.
About The Author
Anuwanshi sharma is a researcher in field of forensic science. She also contributes to various forensic websites as a guest writer.
This Article is a part of Forensics E-Magazine. Download Forensics E-Magazine Here
Buy Forensics E-Magazine April Issue in Free from Amazon: Buy Here