Today’s podcast guest is Sam Alfred, Emergency Medicine Consultant and Clinical Toxicologist. Sam and I discuss his role as a toxicologist, that is the management of envenomations and of poisonings, including self-harm via overdoses of prescription or illicit drugs.
For those of you who love hiking, trail running and mountain bike riding, we focus much of our discussion on snake bite, which is a very real risk, especially during the warmer months. Sam allays some of my fears about snakes when he explains that snakes most definitely do not want to come into contact with humans; they would much rather avoid us. Snakes do not actually attack and only bite if they are startled or threatened e.g. if you were to accidentally step on them. Should you unfortunately get bitten, which is actually rare in Australia, the level of care is excellent and there are very, very few deaths. Sam also offers some first aid tips if you do happen to get bitten – knowledge that is really useful to have.
We touch on Sam’s involvement in an aid project in Myanmar where snake bite is tragically common; an interesting project seeing positive results.
I hope you enjoy my discussion with Sam and hopefully, unlike most of my guests, contacting him is not something you actually want to do.