An 11-year-old boy has died in intensive care 11 days after he was bitten by a snake in Brazil.
Joao Victor Delfino Laurentino was playing with friends in Mogi das Cruzes, Sao Paulo State, south-eastern Brazil on 6th October when he was bitten.
He was rushed to Jardim Rodeo Emergency Unit (UPA), where he vomited several times.
He was then transferred to the ICU of Hospital Luzia de Pinho Melo, where he was placed in an induced coma.
But his condition worsened and he died on 17th October.
His devastated mother Marcela Delfino told local media she plans to sue the hospital for negligence.
She claims Joao’s condition worsened because he was only given antivenom more than seven hours after he was bitten.
She said she first took him to the UPA at around 7pm but he was not given antivenom serum until 3.30am the next day.
But Mogi das Cruzes Health Department said in a statement: “The entire procedure carried out at the UPA was in accordance with State protocol.”
Sao Paulo State Health Department added that Joao was also given haemodialysis – a procedure to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood when the kidneys stop working properly.
Mum Marcela revealed that it was not the first snake bite in the neighbourhood.
Veterinarian Fernando Barbosa Santana told local media: “The overgrown bush…provides a hiding place for these animals”.
It is not clear what species bit Joao but Brazil is home to the jararaca, one of the deadliest pit vipers with venom that can cause uncontrollable bleeding.
Marcela has accused the UPA of negligence and believes her son was “already dead” by the time he was admitted to hospital.
Mogi das Cruzes Council summoned local health secretary Zeno Morrone Junior on 25th October to clarify what happened.