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Sample Essay on Snake Bite Antivenin

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Sample Essay on Snake Bite Antivenin

Snake bite is, perhaps, one of the most horrible experiences in human life.  It does not only induce excruciating pain to the patient, but can also cause death in a span of seconds. With the increased human activities, human beings are increasingly engaged in field work activities where they are more likely to come into contact with snakes. Snake bite episodes are such a risky encounter that worries both the victim and the people around them.  Nonetheless, snake bite is treatable by the use of certain biological antivenin. The following is an account of horse serum antivenin that was administered to me when I suffered a snake bite.

For over a hundred years now, horses have been used to generate anti-venom serum for the treatment of snakes and other crocodile’s venomous. The preparation of horse-generated antivenin is a process that takes quite a long period.  It involves injecting a health hoarse with a diluted sample of snake venom so as to prompt the horse’s body to generate antibodies to fight the venom.  The venom is diluted to a concentration that is harmless to the animal, but strong enough to be detected as an antigen by the horse’s body mechanism.  The subject horse is then left to generate antibodies as it builds immunity against the venom.  After a given period, biologists harvest blood that is rich in anti-venom immunity from the subject horse, ready for further laboratory procedures. The lab procedures include separating the antibodies enhanced serum from the blood samples which are used to treat snake bites.

When snake bite victims are injected with the antivenin serum, their bodies acquire the antibody response from the serum. Consequently, the antibody response in the patient blood counteracts the snake venom, saving the life of the patient. Although the horse generated antivenin has been effective, the serum can only be administered as a first instance treatment. This is so because the human body recognizes horse blood element as an antigen and develops antibodies against it. However, scientists have been on the run to identify alternative animals such as sheep and rabbits that can be used to prepare antivenins.

Although snake bites are life-threatening exposures, there exist safe biologically prepared antivenins. A good example is the serums that are drawn from a snake bite immune horses. The use of this serum is however restricted to the first instance of snake bite as the subsequent use may risk an anaphylactic shock. However, scientists have recently developed the forms of antivenins that have no risk on repeated use.


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