New Research Gives Hope to Snake Bite Victims

University of Arizona researcher Dr. Vance Nielsen has been experimenting with new treatments to help those bitten by rattlesnakes.

Nielsen says the therapy he is working on will be administered via injection into a snakebite victim to buy them enough time to get to an actual hospital.

He says venom is harmful to the nervous system and can interfere with blood function causing clotting which leads to a heart attack or stroke or inhibit blood clotting leading to excessive bleeding.

Nielsen's work involves the injection of carbon monoxide into the venom to block or slow down its effects.

"There's a gigantic body of literature about how carbon monoxide can make things better or worse in human medicine. I was looking at the coagulation angle of it, which there are not many people studying that aspect of it."

The treatment has proven successful in blocking 36 different kinds of venom in human and animal plasma as well as during live animal tests.

Nielsen says the next step in the research is to test a more EpiPen-like delivery.

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