Science

Video Shows What Viper Venom Does to Blood

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Even though the vast majority of snakes, approximately 85 percent, are nonvenomous, those that are venomous often strike fear in the hearts of the masses. A snake bite has the potential to wreak havoc on the human body and even cause death. One such snake is Daboia russelii, a viper whose venom is particularly potent.

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Daboia russelii, or the Russell’s Viper, is native to India and some surrounding countries. This species of snake is responsible for thousands of deaths each year, often because those who are bitten live in rural communities and cannot access the antivenom easily.

After a bite, according to a report by IFL Science, pain sets in immediately. Then, blood begins to appear in the mouth just minutes later, and the person suffers from a significant drop in blood pressure.

Skin and muscle near the location of the bite can quickly turn necrotic, and the venom from untreated bites can lead to disseminated intravascular coagulation, or blood clots.

As the video shows, a single drop of viper venom can lead to rapid coagulation, changing the consistency of blood into almost a jelly.

Ultimately, kidney and other organ failure can occur as a result of blood clots, potentially resulting in death.

Researchers work to collect viper venom so effective antivenoms can be developed. Additionally, they hope to harness the coagulating properties as a means of creating medications that can be used to treat surgical and trauma patients at risk of significant blood loss.