Taking his son to a hospital to treat him for a snake bite, a farmer in Dangs district swam across a swollen river with the eight-year-old boy on an inflated tyre tube. However, by the time they reached the hospital, the doctors were unable to save Rohit Pawar.
The irony is that the Khapri river is dry most of the year, and it takes 10 minutes to cross on foot. However, the recent rain had caused the river to swell. And because of the strong current, Rohit’s father Mohan took an hour and a half to cross it.
Rohit was bitten by a snake at around 1 am on Monday while he was sleeping inside his hut in old Davdahad village of Ahwa taluka. On noticing marks of the snake bite on his leg, Mohan woke up the villagers, who called the 108 services and requested them to keep an ambulance ready at Pimpri village across the river.
Due to an unavailability of boats, Mohan had to put his son on an inflated tyre tube and drag him along as he swam across the river, to reach the Ahwa Civil hospital. Mohan told The Indian Express, “I put my son on an inflated autorickshaw tyre tube and swam across the Khapri river to reach other bank. The water current was strong and I had to struggle to reach the shore. I somehow reached the other bank and tried to wake my son, but he did not respond. I thought he might have lost consciousness. The 108 ambulance immediately drove us to the Ahwa civil hospital, where doctors examined and declared my son dead as it was too late.”
Dr Rashmikant Kokni, chief medical officer (CMO) of Ahwa Civil hospital, said, “The boy reached the hospital at 2.30 am, and was not responding. We immediately gave him anti-venom medicine through intravenous infusion. When he did not respond, we gave him artificial respiration, but all our efforts were in vain. We found that that the venom was neurotoxic, usually found in cobras. If the anti-venom medicine is administered within 40 minutes, there are higher chances of survival. They brought the patient to the hospital late and by then his intra-organ failure had started. In Dangs, cobra and common Krait snakes are found in large numbers. They are both poisonous.”
Dangs District Collector B Kumar said, “This is the first such an incident of death due to the snake bite. There are 25 families in Davdahad village and during monsoon, it becomes difficult for the villagers to reach Pimpri or Ahwa for any kind of work. The entire district is forested, as a result of which snake bite incidents are common here. There is another causeway from Davdahad to Pimpri, but due to heavy rainfall the causeway was overflowing while water level in Khapri river had gone up to the danger mark.”
According to sources in the district health department, since the monsoon set in this year, 42 incidents of snake bites have been reported. Most of these were treated at the civil hospital or by the 108 emergency services.