Friday, February 25, 2011

Oscar-Nominated True Grit Gets Top Reviews for Acting but Mixed Reviews for Snakebite Treatment

Editor Note:  If you have a medical emergency out in nature, be sure to call 911.  They can provide you with the best advice on what should be done as you are in route to seeking emergency medical treatment.

/PRNewswire/ -- Confronting a rattler may be a minor challenge for Rooster Cogburn in the Coen brothers' Oscar-nominated remake of True Grit, but proper handling of poor Mattie's snakebite was a major ordeal in the old West. The tough-as-nails U.S. Marshall unknowingly perpetuates Hollywood myth by doing precisely the opposite of proper snakebite protocol, although the hero does get it right when it comes to the need for speed in seeking immediate treatment.

Cutting the skin ("X marks the spot") to suck or bleed out the poison, applying a tourniquet, bandage or pressure, and drinking alcohol not only don't help, but may cause added harm by further damaging tissue.

Despite all of the folklore, the only correct response to poisonous snakebite is to seek emergency care. Remain calm and call 911 or your local poison control center at (800) 222-1222. Snakebite treatment is best left to the experts! So it is imperative to get to an appropriate hospital or emergency center as quickly as possible.

Above all, do not attempt to capture the snake, which could very well result in a second bite. CroFab® Crotalidae Polyvalent Immune Fab (ovine) is an intravenous medicine, usually administered in the hospital emergency room, that is approved to treat venomous snakebites from North American pit vipers. Pit viper snakes include rattlesnakes, copperheads and cottonmouths/water moccasins. BTG International Inc. markets and distributes CroFab® to hospitals in the United States.

"Although nowadays we don't cut and suck snakebites like the cowboys used to do, Rooster knew the best thing for Mattie was to get her to a doctor as fast as he could," said Sean Bush, MD, Professor of Emergency Medicine at Loma Linda School of Medicine in Loma Linda, CA. "The same is true today. The difference now is that there is a treatment to prevent the progression of a venomous pit viper bite."

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