Some of us owning properties in the Hoedspruit area, or even just visiting nearby nature reserves and wildlife estates, have experienced a medical emergency and feel relatively comfortable in dealing with those situations. The rest might need some assistance in contacting the relevant service providers. We hope these contact numbers and information will assist you in those tricky situations.
Evacuations can be done to Netcare (015 296 6500) and Mediclinic (015 290 3600), both Private hospitals in Polokwane, Mediclinic Tzaneen (015 306 8500) and Netcare Nelspruit (013 759 0550), both also Private hospitals. Another option is the Government hospital, Tintswalo Hospital in Acornhoek (013 795 8600).
Paramedic in Hoedspruit – Hoedspruit Medical Rescue – Pieter Papsdorf (072 170 0864) – Private
Ambulance evacuation service provider: AFRICA SAFE-T (010 593 6303) – Hoedspruit – Private
Helicopter evacuation service provider: Jerry McDonald (079 660 2475) paramedics included – Private.
While talking to an emergency service provider, talk slowly and clearly. Inform them of the exact location of where the medical emergency is taking place, as well as what the status of the patient is and as much information as possible with regards to pre-existing medical conditions and medications.
· Try identifying the culprit as this will aid the medical treatment. Do not risk another bite/sting in order to do this (the information is handy but not critical).
· Make sure that nobody else is at risk before leaving, e.g. if it is a snake in the house, close the door and get everyone out until someone with the necessary skills can clear the room.
· Calm the patient down as much as possible, not always easy but very important. The patient needs to keep communicating symptoms; this will also assist in the identification of an unknown bite/sting.
· In the event of a snake bite, the affected limb should be wrapped with a pressure bandage.
· In the event of serious snake bite - contact the Hoedspruit Reptile Centre (Chris / Dr. Jess – 015 795 5203 / 064 516 7439) as they are the local stockist of anti-venom and have experience in envenomation treatment. Medical evacuation will be assessed based on patient’s condition.
· Serious patients can be taken to Tintswalo Hospital (They have anti-venom in stock, are well-trained and are close by – all critical factors). The hospital should be informed of a patient en-route and the victim should not be driving. Inform Hoedspruit Reptile Centre that patient is going to Tintswalo Hospital.
· In the event of a scorpion sting – management will contact the Hoedspruit Reptile Centre (Chris / Dr. Jess – 015 795 5203 / 064 516 7439) as they will have scorpion anti-venom in stock
· In the event of a Parabuthis sp. Scorpion sting, the pain will be intense. Immersing the sting are in hot water will provide a temporary relief, however the only thing that will take scorpion sting symptoms away is anti-venom and thus it is recommended in order to speed up recovery.
· Most scorpion stings can be handled by a local GP except in the case of a small child or elderly person when it is safer to transport the victim to a hospital.
If you do not have a GP in town, Dr J.A. Blignaut – 015 793 1894 (Emergency number - 083 410 0190) is located at the Rhino Convention Centre near the Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate, or Dr. Kirstein – 087 655 1406 at the Vitality Lab, Safari Junction office park next to Raptor’s View Wildlife Estate.
Special thanks to Lissataba Private Nature Reserve for the info.