Snake-bite soldier lives to fight another day

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by TangoZeroAlpha, Nov 30, 2007.

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  1. A killer snake has attacked a soldier from the Royal Irish Regiment, on a training exercise in Kenya. Ulsterman Paul Flynn 24, from 2nd Battalion R IRISH, but serving with the 1st Battalion, survived after being bitten on the arm by a normally-deadly Black Mamba. He received immediate anti-venom treatment from a battalion medic in situ and further treatment after he was rushed by field ambulance and helicopter over 300 miles to hospital in Nairobi.

    On the way, the Enniskillen man suffered convulsions and lost consciousness. But, against the odds, he pulled through. Doctors believe his fitness and training may have helped save his life as this strengthened his heart and organs. He learned that three previous snake-bite patients at the hospital had died.

    The Black Mamba is the fastest moving snakes. It is also one of the world's most venomous. Its neurotoxins paralyse respiratory ability, which is life-threatening. An Army spokesman confirmed that Paul Flynn is a Territorial Army soldier who signed a year ago to serve with a regular battalion. He said the progressive army training would have built on his natural fitness.

    "In the heat of the Kenyan sun, the heart works harder and the lungs become stronger," he said. "He has been mobilised for Afghanistan next year. He is a volunteer and is keen to go. We fully expect him to make a 100 per cent recovery and to be fully capable of full service as well. "He was on sentry duty when he was bitten and within minutes of it happening he was treated by doctors. The fast response in notifying medics and them being able to treat him probably saved his life," he said.

    "It was the initial anti-venom from the army doctor was crucial." It is quite rare for a soldier to be bitten by a snake, he said. "The military overseas have a lower bite rate than indigenous populations, partly because we are moving around and making a lot of noise," he said. Army doctors are specifically trained to deal with such incidents, he said.

    The Fermanagh soldier is currently convalescing.
  2. 'kin nightmare. Mambas are one of the few snakes which are territorial. Most will move away. They will stand and fight. Where's Steve Irwin when you need him.
  3. Glad the medic's were on their toes. Hope the road to recovery isn't going to take too long.
  4. The last Black Mamma that bit me charged 20 Kenyan Pounds an hour in the Nanukyi Sportsmans Lodge
  5. But only Tuesday nights and weekends.

    Anyway, what was he doing drinking snakebite? Was it the end of the month?
  6. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Lucky Man - Well done the medics for being on the ball.
  7. Something about this story seems very odd to me.

    It might just be my inner cynic or maybe it is just because it is Friday or something but the whole tone of the report seems off somehow.

    Did you write this yourself TZA? Or is it a copy from a newspaper or something?

    Or was it perhaps written by someone who isnt a native english speaker?
  8. He's one of the luckiest men on the face of the planet. The Black Mamba is the last thing one wants to encounter, some of the most experienced men in the ways of the African bush have died this way.
  9. It was covered in last nights Belfast Telegraph as well but I can't find it on their website.
  10. Ok so it did happen but that first report is still very oddly written.

    Mind you as all the news sources copy each other I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if the BBC version is just a re-write.

    Is my tinfoil hat showing? 8O
  11. after biting a Fermanagh man I don't expect the snake is feeling too well either! :p