Snakebite cases in Kanchanpur district are rising in recent months, according to the Mahakali Zonal Hospital.
At least six snakebite patients are being admitted daily to the hospital these days. A woman in the district died of snakebite last week because she could not receive treatment in time.
Gopal Panta, the hospital’s emergency unit staff, said this sudden rise in snakebite cases started from mid-June.
The hospital, which do not have intensive care service, has been referring critical snakebite patients to other health institutions.
Without the intensive care service, Panta said, the hospital cannot guarantee whether a snakebite patient is going to survive.
“Some snakebite patients need ventilators, which we do not have. Usually, the relatives of patients themselves seek referral after learning that our hospital does not have an ICU,” he said.
According to the hospital, only 10 to 20 percent of the snakebite victims visiting the hospital are bitten by the venomous snakes.
“We usually refer critical snakebite cases to other hospitals. But we do not stop those who wish to be treated elsewhere,” said Dr Shree Krishna Bhatta, the hospital’s medical superintendent.
“The hospital has enough anti-venom supply, but critical cases cannot be treated here because we do not have the ICU yet.”
The equipment required to set up intensive care unit remain untouched at the hospital for the past two years.
Dr Bhatta said the equipment sent by the Department of Health Services had not been installed yet due to lack of budget.