If you don’t treat snake bites properly, it can potentially cause a lot of complications. Snakes can be anywhere, be it venomous or not, they can cause pain and disorientation to the victim. There are about 3000 snake species in the world and 600 of those are venomous. 

Venomous snakes can paralyse a person or cause some serious pain and other symptoms. Some can experience necrosis and paralysis of the respiratory system and skeletal muscles. Hence, some will have difficulty of breathing and limited movements. 

Snake bites must be treated as a medical emergency. If someone in your group et bitten, the first thing to do is to call for professional help. Then, you can perform simple snake bite first aid to keep the victim’s pain to the minimum if you can. You will also need to keep the victim calm and barely moving. 

Do’s and Don’ts for Handling a Snake Bite

The Do’s

Stay Calm and Call Professional Help

Help the victim get into a semi-reclined position. Make sure that the wound is below the heart level so the venom won’t easily penetrate it. 

Immobilise the Bitten Limb

With your snake bite first aid kit, look for a bandage and tie two to four inches above the wound to slow down the spread. Also, when the bitten area changes temperature. Some may feel burning sensations bit if the victim feels numbness and coldness, that means that the bandage is too tight. You will need to loosen it. You can use a splint to immobilise the wounded area and to slow down the penetration of the venom. 

Clean the Wound

If you see the wound bleeding, you will need to stop it first. Then, you can apply pressure to the bite wound. Upon the bleeding stops, clean the wound with soap and clean water to avoid any more infections. After, dress the wound to keep it clean before professional help arrives. Never clean it on running water. 

Get Medical Help Early

If there are no signs of swelling and discolouration, it means that the snake was not venomous or wasn’t able to inject venom. Such signs typically occur within the first five minutes of getting bitten. However, there are kinds of venoms that don’t show any signs after several hours. Hence, it is best to monitor the wound for 24 hours. If any of the signs show, the best thing to do is to call for medical help. 

The Don’ts

Never apply ice. Ice can block blood circulation of which can cause more damage and pain to the victim. 

Never suck out the blood with your mouth. The germs in your mouth can cause infection to the wound and you will be exposing yourself to the venom. 

Never cut the wound. 

Never try to guess the kind of snake based on its physical aspects. Some snakes may look like other species. And not guessing the right kind of snake can mean wrong medication and diagnosis. Hence, it can lead to even worse conditions. 

Snake bites must be treated as an emergency. It is an incident that can take away a life. It is always best to do what’s best in the situation than assuming. Snake venom can cause paralysis and necrosis which can diminish the functions of the body. So, when such an unlucky situation happens, call a medical professional and perform the right snake bite first aid. 

By Mirco