If A Snake Bites You, Do These 5 Things Immediately
Snakes usually bite defensively, rather than actively attacking humans, and in Queensland it’s as common for people to be bitten around the home as it is out in the bush or other wild areas. If you’re ever bitten by a snake, keeping these tips in mind might save your life.
1. Call For Help
You should treat any snake bite as an emergency, regardless of whether you think the snake was venomous or not. Many snakes look similar, and if you wait to see if you feel symptoms of venom poisoning, it might be too late by the time you get help.
What to do
You need to stay as still as possible, so rather than running for a phone, use a mobile phone or have someone else go and call for help. Call Triple Zero (000) and ask for an ambulance, 112 in Nigeria
2. Don’t panic and don’t move
Take long, deep breaths to help calm yourself down. Remember that the odds are in your favour: it’s rare for people to die after being bitten by a snake, especially if they follow first aid steps. If you’re with other people, they shouldn’t move you at all, but start administering first aid where you are.
Note: Just be sure the snake has move away to avoid being again.
3. Leave the snake alone
If you are bitten by a snake and someone is with you, they should call for help and start first aid immediately. Leave the snake alone and don’t try to catch it/ injure it or kill the snake.
4. Apply a pressure bandage and splint
If you’ve got a pad or even a piece of plastic like cling wrap, put it over the bite site to either soak up or protect the venom for later testing.
Once the bandage is on, mark the bite site on the bandage with a pen or other substance that will leave a mark – if you’ve got nothing else on you, putting a little mud or dirt on the bandage will work. Then, splint the limb to keep it still. Any straight object will do – a stick, rolled up newspaper or even firmly rolled up clothes or tarps can all work. Fix the splint in place by securing it to the limb with bandages or other material.
If you’ve been bitten on your head, neck or torso, you don’t need to put on a pressure immobilisation bandage.
5. Don’t wash, suck, cut or tourniquet the bite
There are a lot of old methods of treating snake bites that are now known to cause more harm than good.
Washing the snake bite site can wash off venom that the hospital staff may be able to use to identify the type of snake that bit you. You should also keep clothing from around the bite site, because additional movement can cause venom to more readily move into the blood stream.
Do not suck or cut the bite area. Do not apply a tourniquet to the limb – this can be dangerous.