HomeOutdoorsNewsMan’s Tongue Amputated in Life-Saving Measure After Being Bitten by Snake

Man’s Tongue Amputated in Life-Saving Measure After Being Bitten by Snake

by Samantha Whidden
Photo by CARL DE SOUZA/AFP via Getty Images

An Indian man is recovering after he had his tongue as a life-saving measure after he was bitten by a poisonous snake. 

According to the Daily Star, Dr. S Senthil Kumaran, chief physician of Erode Manian Medical Centre, stated the patent, who was from Gobichettipalayam, in the southern Indian province of Tamil Nadu, lost a part of his tongue after it had been severely damaged by the snake venom. 

The tissue of the man’s tongue was infected due to snake venom. “In such a situation, to save the patient, part of his tongue had to be amputated,” Dr. Kumaran also explained. “Even after amputating his tongue, we had to struggle for four days to save his life.”

The patient ended up being bitten after he received advice from an astrologer. The man had recurring dreams of being bitten by a snake. He was told in order to get rid of his constant dreams about being bitten by a snake, was to “worship” one. He decided to follow the advice. The man went to a temple dedicated to a snake, and stuck his tongue out as part of a Hindu “puja”. This is notably an act of devotion. The reptile suddenly came out and bite into the tongue. The man passed out almost immediately. He was carried by relatives to a nearby hospital, Erode Manian Medical Centre. 

Following the incident, the astrologer said his advice to worship the snake had been “tongue in cheek.” Meaning, it shouldn’t have been taken seriously. The amputation of the man’s tongue comes just days after another man was fatally bitten by a snake after trying to take a selfie with the reptile while visiting India. 

Doctor Advises Education in Rural Communities about Superstitious Beliefs After Snake Bite Causes Tongue Amputation

Dr. Kumaran said that the man underwent extensive surgery on his tongue following the snake bite. He also advised an urgent need to educate rural communities about such superstitious beliefs. “He almost lost his life,” the doctor further explained. “And people should exercise caution against undertaking such risky practice of worship.” 

The doctors admitted there was confusion about what to do with the man after his tongue was amputated. “We have to struggle for four days to save Raja’s life even after amputating his tongue,” Kumaran explained. Since the surgery, the man has gained consciousness and was discharged. 

According to Reuters, some people in India believe that getting bitten by a snake is seen as good luck. There are even festivals dedicated to the reptile throughout the country. During that event, those attending sing and dance to the sounds of drums and instruments while holding snakes. They also get bitten with the belief that the bite will bring good fortune. 

One attendee who attends snake festivals shared details about the event in Rajasthan. “People from the entire district have gathered here to celebrate the festival. People from nearby places have assembled here. Devotees also travel 300 kilometers to celebrate the festival. It is a belief that if you receive a snake bite, your diseases will get cured.”