Explore the health and wellbeing issues concerning venom and vein clots.
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Learn about Venom and Vein Clots Host: It looks like an old racy shell but it’s a fatally poisonous snail that can kill a human with one single drop of venom. Dozens of beach combers have died trying to add the Philippine cone snail to their shell collections. The swarm of honeybees may make life sweet for most of us but the sting from the bee can send some people into deadly anaphylactic shock and most people wouldn’t hang around long enough to feel the effects of these old favorites. Humans have an innate fear of spiders and snakes and rightly so. The venom from one Taipan bite could kill 100 men and it’s a quick death but it’s not just the snake’s bite you have to look out for. Horst Bleckman: They stay aim at your eyes and if it hits the eyes the angst are very painful on the one hand. Secondly, it means that at least for a certain amount of time you're blind for that you can not see anymore. If you don’t put out the venom out of your eyes then you may you finally end up being blind also? If a small snake bites you then this can cause your death within 10 or 15 hours. So it’s extremely dangerous. Host: Zoo toxins which are what scientists call animal poisons are highly effective. They act swiftly and target very specific areas of the body. Ironically, these are the traits that are also found in the world’s best medicines. So it comes as a no surprise that venom is the next big thing in medical research. It has been found that the poison from the Philippine cone snail makes the most effective pain killer called conopeptide for excruciating cases of back injury. But scientists are most intrigued by the application of snake venom in heart medications. Snakes released substances that either blocked or enhance the actions of vitamin K in the blood stream. Vitamin K blockers move in the blood. This will be used in minute synthesize amounts to reduce hypertension in a new cobra inspired drug called Exanta. Vitamin K enhancers clot the blood swiftly. This could have exciting applications in human medicine where profuse bleeding needs to be stent quickly. The ancient Egyptians used snake venom in medicine thousands of years ago. It looks like we’re finally catching up. You’ve just concluded a 20-hour flight to your dream holiday destination only to get off the plane with swollen, painful legs and red feverish skin around the thigh area. Could it have happened to you? Could one of the deep veins in your leg have developed a clot from such a long period of immobilization? Did you drink enough water? Did you take the time to stretch and walk up and down the aisles or was it one gigantic slump of patty. Female: When I was walking down the plane, when I was a bit of traffic jam I think as long as you do that and have felt alright. Obviously you get enough every seven hours for my health but we are definitely coming to class and not much space. Host: The evidence is conflicting as to whether or not air travel encourages the formation of thrombosis or clots but immobilization in general is a sure trigger. The blood in the legs needs help to travel up the length of the body against gravity. Usually this help comes in the form of you moving and contracting your leg muscles. If you don’t move, the blood in your legs pulls and clots are formed by stagnant, sticky platelets. If one of these clots detaches from the vein wall and travels through the body to lodge itself in the pulmonary artery you have a 30% chance of dying. If you have currently heart disease or overweight, pregnant, or a smoker you have a increased risks of deep vein thrombosis. Drink of plenty of water. Move when you can. Don’t cross your legs and wear loose comfortable clothing while flying. If you’re bitten by a snake don’t wash the bite area. This may be able to procure enough venom to identify this snake type and administer the correct anti-venom.

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