My wife’s friend’s mother was weeding her garden and was bitten on the finger by a venomous snake.
She didn’t see the snake, but it must have been a cobra, krait or maybe a viper.She drove herself to hospital on her motorbike and is lucky to be alive. However, she is not out of the woods yet. The surgery looks a bit invasive for a snake bite and they are leaving the wounds open for now.
Infection could be an issue.
What you are seeing is called a fasciotomy, it is used to relieve pressure that is causing vascular restriction to the degree that it is putting a limb at risk of being lost. It is very much a last resort to save a limb from amputation. However, this procedure is not normally recommended for snake bites as studies have suggested that it may worsen necrosis. Presumably they have been trying anti-venom and this has been unsuccessful and have resorted to this in attempt to save the lady’s arm.
The fact the species of snake is unknown has made the situation more dangerous as the correct antivenom needs to administered. Also, the venom of different species acts in different ways.
Snakebites produce findings mimicking compartment syndrome that are rarely indicative of actual compartment syndrome. Myonecrosis results from venom toxicity rather than elevated compartment pressures. Fasciotomy does not prevent, and may worsen, necrosis. In some cases with elevated compartment pressures, treatment with antivenom and without fasciotomy was successful. No available evidence indicates when fasciotomy should be performed in the management of snakebites. If considered, fasciotomy should not be performed without first documenting elevated compartment pressure.
(American College of Medical Toxology and the American Academy of Clinical Toxology)