When a ventilator helps those at the bottom of the pyramid

On the early mornings of 24th July 2014 Sainebai, a resident of a tribal village where SEARCH works had a snake bite. Due to the toxic effect of the venom of krait her muscles were completely paralysed. When she was brought to the hospital of SEARCH she could barely breathe due to muscle paralysis and without appropriate inter-vention, death was eminent. A tube was immediately inserted into her airway by the hospital team and artificial breathing was provided using a ventilator. She was also given anti-snake venin. Over next two days the weakness in her muscles gradually improved and she could breathe on her own. She was discharged home on the fifth day.

Care using ventilator is usually provided in the intensive care units in urban hospitals with advanced facilities. This is the first time when a ventilator was used in the hospital of SEARCH to save a life. As snake bites are common in Gadchiroli, SEARCH was in need of a ventilator to help save lives of snake bite patients who have muscle paralysis. Currently SEARCH hospital is the only place in the entire district which has a ventilator.

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