The Doctors: Hemotoxic and Neurotoxic Venom and Effects of Snake Venom


The Doctors: Five Million Snake Bites Per Year

The Doctors: Hemotoxic and Neurotoxic Venom and Effects of Snake Venom

There are two different types of snake venom – neurotoxic and hemotoxic – that can cause different reactions in your body after a snake bite.

The Doctors TV show said that over five million snake bites occur each year, and these bites lead to 125,000 deaths.


Dr. Travis Stork said that if you don’t know what to do, you could quickly turn into a statistic. Snake expert Jules Sylvester appeared on The Drs. to talk about the do’s and don’ts of snake bites.

Sylvester brought out an albino Burmese python. Sylvester was raised in Kenya and when he was 16 he developed his affinity for snakes.

The Drs: Hemotoxic Vs Neurotoxic Snake Venom

There are two kinds of snake venom out there – hemotoxic (affects blood) and neurotoxic (affects nervous system). Rattle snakes are hemotoxic and can cause problems with clotting. Watch and learn the difference between the two.


Cobras are neurotoxic and their venom can stop nerve signals and cause organ failure. Their venom also leads to convulsions or immobilization. You can also experience similar symptoms from Lyme Disease that has reached your brain.

Rattlesnake venom can cause your blood to gush and give you massive internal bleeding. The opposite effect can also occur – your blood can clot quickly and it can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Dr. Travis Stork said that we don’t see the heart attacks or strokes that much in humans because we’re big, but after a rattlesnake bites it’s prey, that’s what happens.

The Doctors: Effects of Snake Venom on Blood

Sylvester demonstrated how to remove venom from a rattlesnake and showed the audience what it does to blood. As the venom was added to the blood, the blood got thicker and thicker. See for yourself:

The Drs: How To Treat a Snake Bite

What should you do if someone is bitten by a snake? See for yourself:

Sylvester said that you need to stay calm after being bitten (as calm as possible) and call 911. He said don’t listen to any old wives tales about treating snake bites, and leave it alone until you get to the hospital.

If you’re out on the trail with friends when you get bitten, walk very quietly or have them carry you until you get to a vehicle. Dr. Stork said the more you get worked up, the worse it is for your heart because of the state your blood is in.


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