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AUS Press: Death adder bite survivor

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Posted by: Herp_News at Tue Jan 7 18:55:58 2014  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Herp_News ]  
   

DAILY TELEGRAPH (Sydney, Australia) 31 December 13 Death adder bite survivor Macaughly Clifford is a little miracle, stunning doctors with his recovery (Sarah Crawford)
He suffered a death adder bite which would have killed a man but three-year-old Macaughly Clifford has stunned experts with his miraculous survival.
Barely a week after his encounter with one of the world's most deadly snakes at a property in Sydney's north left him paralysed and foaming at the mouth, the toddler has returned to full health.
Macaughly has his quick thinking father to thank after his Dad bandaged his entire arm in the frantic moments after the snake bit the toddler's finger three times.
As he cooked his family a barbecue meal at his home at Lovett Bay, Wayne Clifford heard his son scream "Daddy it's a snake."
By the time Macaughly reached Mona Vale Hospital he was paralysed by the snake's deadly venom, he was struggling to breath and vomiting.
His plight sparked a frenzied response with a helicopter called in to fly death adder anti-venom 25km from Hornsby Hospital after staff at Mona Vale first gave Macaughly a generic anti-venom.
Macaughly's mother Dolly Guiott - who travelled to the hospital from her home in Alawa- said Mr Clifford was distraught at the hospital.
"He was screaming look, 'my boy can not breathe, do something,'" she said yesterday
After he was treated with the second anti-venom Macaughly was moved to the intensive care unit at Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick.
He was kept there for three days before being discharged last Monday in time to be home for Christmas.
Ms Guiott said it was terrifying to see her son in ICU.
"You never want to see your son like that," she said.
She drew comfort from the care staff gave to Macaughly describing their efforts as "amazing."
"My son left hospital with toys from Santa and there was a clown there to make him happy."
"He is very happy, he recovered amazingly."
Snake expert Craig Adams said a death adder bite was very dangerous for an adult let alone a child.
"Their venom has a very powerful neurotoxin which causes severe, profound paralysis in the victim," Mr Adams, director of SSSAFE (Snake and Spider Safety Awareness for Employees) said.
"Once it gets going the victim won't be able to breathe without assistance.
"It could have a toddler in trouble within the hour."
Mr Adam said death adder anti-venom worked extremely well and could reverse the effects of the neurotoxin rapidly.
Death adders are common throughout NSW and are found wherever there is natural ground cover.
"They have a reflex bite when they are touched - probably one of the fastest strikes in the world."
Death adders are extremely good at concealing themselves under leaf litter and their short stout bodies mean they are commonly mistaken for blue tongue lizards.
Their colour varies from a rusty red to a charcoal and they are about a metre in length.
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