Australian Hospitals Plead With Snake Bite Victims To Stop Bringing Snakes To the ER

Snake bite victims are endangering medical staff by bringing the reptiles with them to hospital, say doctors in Australia. In Queensland's Wide Bay region, doctors have come face to face with some of the world's most venomous snakes captured by patients who believe it will help medical personnel with identification and treatment. In one case earlier this month, emergency staff at Bundaberg Hospital, four hours north of Brisbane, were handed a plastic food container with a small eastern brown snake inside peering back at them. The incident has prompted the hospital's Director of Emergency Medicine, Adam Michael, to warn patients to leave snakes alone. Dr. Michael said the eastern brown snake brought in earlier this month was not very well secured and was wriggling around trying to get out. "Any attempts to either get close to a snake to catch or to kill, or to photograph the snake, just puts people at risk," he said. "We want people to be able to get seen and assessed quickly and having a live snake in the department slows up that process." There are about 3,000 suspected snake bites across Australia each year, but only 100 to 200 cases require anti-venom.