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Rare death from snake bite in Australian home

Sydney, Australia | AFP | 

A man has died a week after being bitten by one of the world’s deadliest snakes in his living room in Australia’s tropical northeast, officials said Tuesday.

The 77-year-old, named in local media as David Pitt, was at his home in Cairns when he was bitten between his toes as he tried to kill the snake with a spade last Tuesday, Queensland Ambulance said.

Paramedics performed CPR and gave Pitt anti-venom treatment before taking him to Cairns Base Hospital in a critical condition.

“There’s quite a lot of blood on the scene so potentially the snake had actually hit a vein instead of just entering the tissue itself. It was quite a rapid injection of the venom,” critical care flight paramedic Valerie Noble said last week.

Pitt remained in intensive care but died on Monday, a hospital spokeswoman told AFP Tuesday.

The snake was reportedly a 1.5-metre (4.9-foot) long coastal taipan, the world’s third-most venomous snake. (video of venom extraction of this type of snake, below)

Deaths from bites are rare despite Australia being home to 20 of the world’s 25 most venomous snakes.

According to official estimates there are about 3,000 snakebite cases in Australia every year, with 300-500 needing anti-venom treatment. Only an average of two a year prove fatal.


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