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IRVINE, Calif. —  Even in a test tube, snake venom is terrifying.

Mix a few beads of venom from a deadly Indian krait with blood cells and, within an instant, the clear liquid will turn bright red as toxins blast through the cells, rupturing their membranes. One look tells you more than you want to know about the excruciating pain of a snakebite.


That’s why synthetic chemist Jeffrey O’Brien was so startled, and so excited, when he tried lacing a test tube full of blood cells with a compound he had created to neutralize snake venom. He dropped in the krait’s secretions and waited. The solution stayed clear. The blood cells were fine.

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  • I went to a lecture by an Anesthesiologist and also a herpetologist (sp?, Snake Expert). He resides in Kingman, Arizona. He gave evidence, over mean years, that if the snake bite victim is put on a ventilator, and one waits, the patient will return to life. Thus, with the chart showing the high death rate, it would seem educating the medical community to intubate poisonous snake bite victims and keeping them ventilated would be the solution.

    There will be local damage from the poison, but if all this is true, then the patient will still be alive.

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