top of page
  • Writer's pictureAnnieHartley

Give Us a Break...

The word "patient" comes from the Latin term "to suffer".

It is no coincidence that this word is also used for "calmly waiting", which can be seen as its own form of suffering...especially when you are also a patient.

At least now (thanks entirely to your donations), our patients can be assured that their position in the queue is based on carefully prioritised 🚥triage-logic🚥.

After tens of thousands of patients, our triage team has grown accustomed to creative motivations from patients to skip the queue. Almost no exceptions are made outside clinical need...but we have recently identified a sure-fire way to skip to the front : all you have to do is release a live, ambiguously identifiable snake into the triage unit 👍🐍.

👆A 14-year old "colleague" of these two men was bitten by this poor, rattled snake whilst working in the fields around Tintswalo. To help him, they captured it so that it could be identified by our staff...and then released it in our triage unit 🫣 (please see note at the end of this post for information on how to properly handle snake bites).

Additional queue priority is given if the snake has been released from a crumpled Truworths packet after an agitated 45 min journey in a hot taxi after a life-or-death chase with a spade. Empty Emergency Unit = GUARANTEED.

Luckily this poor, terrified snake did not bite another person.

Luckily for its victim, it is only a mildly venomous red-lipped herald

This is just one more bizarre thing that our dedicated staff have to deal with.

They are exhausted and have a simple request:

We would like to make them a break room in the emergency unit.

A place to decompress after an insane shift.

A place to safely store their belongings.

A place to eat their 3am lunches.

...A place to escape the snakes...

Please donate 🙏

They deserve it. Just a few 100 USD should do it!

Thank-you for your support.


A note on snake bites...

1) See a snake? 🐍🫣 --> Leave it alone!!!

  • The (vast) majority of snake bites happen when people threaten snakes or try to kill them.

2) Got bitten by a snake? 🐍🤕 --> Leave it alone!!

  • 🚑Call an ambulance / Go to health facility

  • 👖Calm down and try to not move (e.g. Keep clothes on and splint the affected limb to limit movement)

  • ❤️‍🩹Do NOT apply a tourniquet (this may concentrate cytotoxins and exacerbate local tissue damage. If you have applied one: note the time and wait until the hospital before releasing it...slowwwwwly)

  • 🤐Do NOT suck out the venom or "bleed" the area. These things are best left for Indiana Jones films...and actually may have the opposite effect of driving the venom into the blood stream (as well as introducing bacteria and creating nerve and tendon damage).

  • 🧪Anti-venoms for South African snakes come in "polyvalent" (i.e. a mixture that covers many species such as Mambas, Cobras, Rinkhalses, Puff adders) and "monovalent" (i.e. dedicated to the famously hemotoxic Boomslang). So it is only really worth recognizing the distinctive features of this latter snake...but NEVER worth the risk of catching it.

  • 📸While a photo may be useful to differentiate between highly, mildly and non-venomous. Do NOT capture this photo at the risk of getting bitten again! (a photo of the head, eyes and colour is usual important for identification.

66 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page