Friday, May 15, 2009

Summer Survival - Safe Treatment of Snakebites

The first aid recommendations for victims of snakebites can vary greatly due to the fact that different snakes all have different types of venom. As a result, you should obtain information and guidelines from competent medical authorities or Emergency Medical Services providers in your area as to the proper method for dealing with a snakebite. There are some basic things you can do to help a victim of a snakebite until proper medical care can be obtained for a snakebite victim.

The majority of current first aid guidelines for victims of a snakebite agree on certain basic things that should be done in cases involving the victim of a snakebite.

1. Don’t panic! Panic can affect your reasoning and will not help the situation.

2. Protect the victim and any other persons from the possibility of further snake bites.

3. Seek immediate medical attention as soon as safely possible to do so.

4. Make arrangements for transportation to the nearest hospital emergency room.

5. Keep the victim of a snakebite calm. Additional stress can endanger the victim.

6. Don’t give the victim of a snakebite anything to eat or drink, including medications, unless given specific instruction by a doctor.

7. Remove any items of clothing, footwear, or personal items such as jewelry or rings that may cause additional problems due to swelling, etc.

8. Try to keep the bite area below the victim's heart level to lessen blood flow back to the heart or other places in the body.

9. Avoid excessive movement and try to keep the snakebite victim as still as possible.

10. Do not apply a tornuquet, incise the bite area or clean the bite area with any type of chemical, as these actions may do more harm than good. The use of a simple compression bandage is usually just as effective and a lot safer for the victim.

Additional information can be found here:

Being certified in First Aid every year for over a decade and working in outdoor situations where the chance of a snakebite is a very real possibility has given me the confidence to know how to properly help someone in an emergency without doing any further harm. Proper first aid training will help you to deal with snakebites and other emergencies in a safe and responsible manner. This will insure that you are doing the best you can to help someone in an emergency.

Staying above the water line!



HermitJim said...

Good information, Brother! Had to change my way of thinking about snakebites a bit.

I'm thinking a fresher course in emergency medical treatment might be in order.

Thank you for the info.

Anonymous said...

Very good info,but you forgot the first thing to do... KILL THE FRIKKING SNAKE!!! I've gone hand to hand (mouth?) with a doberman before,and a few other dog's,but I'll empty whatever gun I have on a snake,even if it's well away from me! I HATE those damn thing's! Just my humble opinion....
Dean in Az

riverwalker said...

To: HermitJim

Some of the older methods of treating snakebites did more harm than good. Always good to get refresher course in first aid.


riverwalker said...

To: Dean

So it appears you don't like snakes, correct?


Anonymous said...

I've found that 1 shot from a 12 gauge can usually take out a snake.. I prefer 5,just to be safe.Never can be too careful..
Dean in Az

Anonymous said...

A quick snake story.Year's ago when I was in shape racing dirt bike's,I'd go out on weekend's for a 4 hour practice ride.One time coming back,less then a mile from the end,there was a sandwash about a mile long,with a nice low jump at the end.I rode a 500,so I could wind it up to about 80 thru there,hit the jump,launch me about 80 feet.As I'm in the air over this little 2 path jeep trail,the spot where I'm ready to land had a snake laying acroos the trail..can't see the head or the tail! I cranked up the throttle,pulled up the bar's,hit with the back tire hard and never backed off! Once I hit,I pulled up my feet,thinking it was wrapped up in my back tire! I never backed off till I got to the truck!
Dean in az

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