Smartphone-based device distinguishes venomous from non-venomous and dry snake bites
The sight of a snake in the grass might make you sweat, but if it bites you’ll be hot in a different way. Venomous bites, which present the greatest threat, cause a localised increase in skin temperature around the swollen site. Identifying these early is key to starting treatments that mitigate the effects of the spreading poison. A new study has tested a smartphone-based tool that can instantly show relative skin temperature, revealing warm regions (red) around venomous bites (left, circled) and no clear heat spot around most dry bites (when a venomous snake mercifully elects not to inject its venom) or non-venomous ones (right). The device uses similar technology to that in night-vision cameras, detecting infrared radiation emanating from an object to show temperature. This quick test could help doctors stay cool under pressure and take fast action when needed.
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