August 2, 2008
Air Mercy Dash in Snake Bite Drama
By Mark Cowan
AIR ambulance medics made a mercy dash to London and back to get an antidote for a patient bitten by a snake.The woman, from Stafford, was taken to hospital after being bitten by an adder while out walking near the Millford Common area of Cannock Chase on Monday.
Despite a national shortage of antidote for the snake's venom, the medical team tracked down the medicine at the toxicology unit at Guy's Hospital, in London.
The County Air Ambulance set off from their Strensham base, in Worcestershire, to head for the capital.
The anti-venom was waiting after being couriered across London to a pick-up point. The air ambulance then delivered it directly back to Stafford Hospital, with the whole round trip taking just one hour 45 minutes.
The woman was given the antidote and an intravenous course of antibiotics.
Jo Harvey, matron for emergency care services, said: "It's the first snake bite I have looked after in 20 years of nursing."
Adders are Britain's only native venomous snake and a bite can cause nausea and drowsiness.
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