Man Suffers 'Scrotal Necrosis' After Being Bitten by Snake in Toilet

A 47-year-old Dutch man suffered "scrotal necrosis" after receiving a cobra bite to the groin, according to multiple reports.

The man was vacationing in South Africa when he received the bite while using the toilet, said Urology Case Reports. The snake—which was later identified as a snouted cobra—was sitting inside the toilet bowl when the man sat down.

"Always flush the toilet before sitting down in countries notorious for their snake population," the medical journal warned.

The man was forced to wait three hours before he was finally transported via helicopter to a trauma center more than 200 miles away.

"During this time, he felt a burning sensation in his genitals and a pain that ascended through his groin to his flank, upper chest, and abdomen. He also reported vomiting but no neurological symptoms," the journal said.

"His penis and scrotum were noted to be swollen, deep purple in color, and painful on hospital admission," the journal added. He was later diagnosed with scrotal necrosis, for which he received eight doses of snake venom antiserum and tetanus prophylaxis.

He also underwent hemodialysis due to an acute kidney injury.

One week after he arrived at the hospital in South Africa, a urologist performed "surgical debridement" on the man.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), "debridement is the removal of devitalized tissue such as necrotic tissue."

NCBI continued to say that surgical debridement is a "type of debridement where devitalized tissue [slough, necrotic, or eschar] in the presence of underlying infection is removed using sharp instruments such as a scalpel, Metzenbaum, curettes, among others."

Two days after the surgical treatment, the man was transported to the Netherlands, where "a plastic surgeon performed penile shaft debridement," said Urology Case Reports.

"A graft from the groin was then placed over the penis and he has made a full recovery," reported the New York Post.

National Geographic reported last year that an estimated 30,000 people die from snake bites every year in Sub-Saharan Africa, the area of the continent which lies south of the Sahara Desert.

"A major factor is a severe shortage of the only medicine that can neutralize the toxins of dangerous snakes: antivenom," said the publication.

Another major factor in the region's large death toll is that many victims either can't afford to get to hospitals or simply choose not to go, the publication explained. Additionally, a majority of African antivenoms require refrigeration, and "frequent power cuts" render it "nearly impossible" to keep medicines cold.

snouted cobra
A 47-year-old Dutch man suffered “scrotal necrosis” after receiving a cobra bite to the groin, according to multiple reports. Despite the injury, the man is reported to make a full recovery. Louis Roodt/istock