In this article you will learn about snake bite first aid and the signs, symptoms and treatment you need to know.
Our friend's two year old daughter was seriously injured from a rattle snake bite. While she was playing on the driveway, she fell and landed directly on a baby rattle snake which bit her arm. Her arm immediately swelled up and her parents rushed her to the hospital where they gave her many shots of anti-venom to neutralize the venom in her blood system. Her arm turned black and it was touch and go for awhile, but thankfully she eventually healed completely.
What we learned from this and can share with you, is that when someone has been bitten by a poisonous snake, it is important to call the hospital ahead of time so they can get the anti-venom kit prepared and ready upon your arrival. Another thing we learned from this was that a baby rattle snake can be more dangerous than an adult snake. The adult rattle snake will meter the amount of venom released; whereas a baby snake can release all its venom, which is more deadly to the victim.
How to Prevent Snake Bites
- If you encounter a snake, slowly back away and do not touch it.
- Do not step or put your hands into a place that you can not see. Such as around rocks or under brush where a snake might be hiding.
- Avoid wandering outside in the dark if you are in a snake prone area.
- Look ahead of where you are stepping.
- Never go barefoot or where sandals when walking in a snake prone area. Wear hiking boots.
- While swimming in lakes or rivers, keep alert for snakes, they can swim.
- Never hike alone while in snake prone areas. You might need someone to assist you in an emergency.
- Children should be taught early to respect snakes and leave them alone.
Snake Bite Symptoms and Signs to Look For
- A pair of puncture marks at the wound.
- Swelling and redness around the wound.
- Severe pain around the wound.
- Labored breathing. (Breathing may stop all together in extreme cases. Administer CPR.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Blurred vision.
- Increased sweating and salivation.
- Your face or limbs may feel a numbness or tingling.
Snake Bite Treatment
- Keep the victim calm, move them away from the snake and do not try to kill the snake.
- Minimize the victims activity level; this will slow down the spread of the venom through the bloodstream.
- Immediately remove any jewelry, such as rings, bracelets or watches, due to possible swelling.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible by dialing 9-1-1, or transporting the victim to the nearest medical facility. Getting immediate medical help for the victim is crucial.
- If possible apply snake bite first aid if you can not get the person immediate medical attention. Keep the bite wound below the level of the heart.
- Clean the bite with soap and water and apply a clean, dry dressing.
- It's important to know which type of snake has bitten the victim. So pay close attention to the color and shape of the snake so that you can inform the medical personal.
Snake Bite First Aid - Things You Should Not Do
- Do not try to pick up the snake or trap it. This could put you at risk for a bite.
- Do not slash the bite wound with a knife.
- Do not apply a tight bandage or tourniquet.
- Do not suck out the venom (this can be dangerous to you and the bacteria in your mouth can infect the wound.
- Do not immerse the wound in water or apply ice.
- Do not drink alcohol as a pain reliever.
- Do not drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages.
There are varying opinions on whether to use a snake bite kit or not. Some experts say that they can do more harm than good; while others think that it is a good way to extract poisonous venom from the wound.
Author Description :
Paul Laris is an author and advisor on Emergency, Disaster and First Aid information. His website EmergencySuppliesInfo.com, will give you up to date information and videos on what to do before, during and after an Emergency.