When an individual sustained a snake bite, it is vital to bring him/her to a healthcare facility so that emergency treatment can be started as quickly as possible. Nevertheless, there are some measures that you should also bear in mind.
- Call for emergency assistance right away.
- Try to keep the individual calm and still. Remember that movement will cause the venom to travel quickly through the body. You can create a splint to limit the movement of the affected area.
- Remove any constricting jewelry or clothing. The bite site has the tendency to swell, thus it is important to remove these items quickly.
- The individual must be transported by a vehicle. Do not allow the individual to walk.
- In case the snake was killed, you have to bring it for identification. If the snake was able to escape, do not waste time in searching for it.
There are measures that were once believed to be helpful but these are now proven to cause more harm than good. Do not attempt to perform the following:
- Use a tourniquet
- Apply a cold compress on the bite site
- Cut open the snake bite
- Elevate the bite site above the level of the heart
- Provide medications
- Suck out the venom by mouth
- Use a pump suction device
Treatment for snake bites
A vital move to do for a snake bite is to bring the individual to the emergency department as soon as possible. The doctor will carefully assess the individual so that a specific course of treatment can be started. To recognize and manage animal bites including snake bites, sign up for first aid courses in Vancouver today.
In some circumstances, a bite from a venomous snake is not fatal. The harshness depends on the site of the bite, age and overall health of the individual. If the snake bite is not serious, the doctor will simply cleanse the wound and provide a tetanus vaccine. For life-threatening scenarios, the doctor will administer an antivenin. An antivenin is produced using the venom of the snake to counter the symptoms and this is injected intravenously. Prompt administration of the antivenin can provide effective results.
Preventing snake bites
Snake bites can be prevented by taking into consideration certain measures. When going on outdoor treks, avoid approaching or handling snakes. Avoid areas that have piled leaves or tall grasses as well as woodpiles and rocks since these are the usual spots where snakes hide.
When working outdoors where snakes might be present, it is important to wear long pants, tall boots and leather gloves. Try to avoid working outside at night and during warm weather where most snakes are active.
Outlook for snake bites
When it comes to the outlook for those who sustained snake bites, it tends to vary. For non-venomous bites, the outlook is good if the wound was properly cleaned and treated right away. As for a venomous snake bite, the outcome is good if the individual was given emergency care right after the bite occurred.
Adults who are healthy with shallow bites usually have a better outlook than children who have a weak immune system who sustained deep snake bites.