Snake bite is a well-known occupational hazard amongst farmers, plantation workers, and other outdoor workers and results in much morbidity and mortality throughout the world. This occupational hazard is no more an issue restricted to a particular part of the world; it has become a global issue. Accurate statistics of the incidence of snakebite and its morbidity and mortality throughout the world does not exist; however, it is certain to be higher than what is reported. This is because even today most of the victims initially approach traditional healers for treatment and many are not even registered in the hospital. Hence, registering such patients is an important goal if we are to have accurate statistics and reduce the morbidity and mortality due to snakebite. World Health Organization/South East Asian Region Organisation (WHO/SEARO) has published guidelines, specific for the South East Asian region, for the clinical management of snakebites. The same guidelines may be applied for managing snakebite patients in other parts of the world also, since no other professional body has come up with any other evidence-based guidelines. In this article we highlight the incidence and clinical features of different types of snakebite and the management guidelines as per the WHO/SEARO recommendation.
Keywords: Anti snake venom; global issue; snakebite.