We’ve long assumed that antivenins were stocked in every hospital pharmacy, so that snakebite victims need only worry about getting medical attention in time. But, alas, that’s really not the case at all—even mainstream antivenins such as CroFab must often be shipped in to address specific cases, and rarer remedies are getting increasingly hard to find. The largest antivenin bank in the United States, which is under the aegis of the Miami-Dade County’s fire department, is suffering from budget shortfalls that threaten its very existence. And up in Canada, the renowned Ontario Antivenin Bank is similarly strapped for resources. After all, when governments are in fiscal crisis, the first items to get chopped are the ones that sound most exotic.
The antivenin shortage is particularly bad news for anyone who gets bitten by a non-native snake, such as those from Down Under. We very much doubt your local hospital will be able to order up enough CSL Death Adder to save your life.