What Snake Venom Does to Blood

Nothing good comes from getting bitten by a Snake, and a Russell’s Viper, also known as Daboia, is no different. It doesn’t kill you instantly, but if it’s untreated or not treated properly, the bite can eventually have fatal consequences in 1 to 14 days, or even later.

But the most amazing effect of a bite from this snake is what it does to blood. It takes about 25 seconds to start working, but assuming an anti-venom and treatment aren’t immediate, it’ll happen. The blood affected by the poison simply creates blood clotting, resembling a small dish of red jelly.


Because this venom is so effective at inducing thrombocytopenia, it has been incorporated into an in vitro diagnostic test for blood clotting that is widely used in hospital laboratories. What happens is that the coagulant in the venom directly affect factor X, an enzyme, turning prothrombin into thrombinin the presence of factor V and phospholipid.

Besides the incredible effect shown in the video below, Russell’s Viper venom has a variety of nasty things it does to the human body – Bleeding in the gums and urine; blistering at the site of the bite and along the limb; Necrosis in the muscles near the bite site; Vomiting and facial swelling; Kidney failure happens in 25% cases; Pain can last to 2-4 weeks in some cases, depending on the level of tissue damage.

It’s found in Asia throughout the Indian subcontinent, much of Southeast Asia, southern China and Taiwan.