Friday, July 4, 2014

More About Snakes:Can Venom Clot Blood?

A reader forwarded this video, with the question, "Can this really happen?"
It's possible.
Snake venoms are complex and usually contain multiple toxins. The main categories are neurotoxins--which affect the nervous system--and hemotoxins, which affect the blood (and often soft tissues like skin and muscle).
Some venoms contain hemotoxins. A few types of hemotoxins:
--Some hemotoxins thin the blood--they anticoagulate. 
--Hemolysins are a type of hemotoxin that can rupture (lyse) red blood cells.
--Agglutinins promote coagulation of blood--what you see in the video is a large soft clot.
The video looks like a cobra--? Cobras usually have primarily neurotoxic venom. It affects the ability of nerves to transmit impulses and leads to weakness and death. Suffocation from not being able to breathe is part of this. 
Rattlesnakes produce a mostly a hemotoxic venom.
Hope this helps!

Questions? Comments?
Kelly has worked in the medical field for over twenty years, mainly at large medical centers. With experience in a variety of settings, chances are Kelly may have seen it.
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