Snake bites are more frequent in the spring and summer season, and experts reveal that cases increase in number during these months. Here’s a guide on surviving a snake bite, including implementation of first-aid to another person.
According to North Carolina emergency medicine professor Bret Nicks, large amounts of snake bites can cause internal bleeding among victims. He says, “venom causes pain and swelling and perhaps some blistering at the site of the bite, and it damages tissue.”
First aid measures
First, you’ve got to know first aid. Have someone call emergency medical help and while waiting for their arrival, it is important to stay calm and move away to a distance where the snake won’t be able to make another attack. Remember to remove accessories like jewelry and tight clothing. Position yourself in such a way that the area of the snakebite is below your heart.
Do not flush the wounded area with water but instead, clean and cover with a sanitized, dry dressing. Here are more of the things that you should not do:
- Do not apply ice or use a tourniquet.
- Do not consume alcohol or caffeine since these have ingredients that speed up the body’s venom absorption which you are presenting.
- Do not aim to remove the venom or cut the wound.
- Do not try to capture the snake and focus on the treatment. It’s best though to keep yourself away from where the snake might possibly make another attack.
When the medical professionals arrive…
Once the medical team arrives or even during the call, describe the snake and how it looks like to them since different species require different antivenom. Provide information that includes the length, thickness, color, distinct markings, the shape of the snake’s head, and shape of the snake’s pupils. If you or a friend has taken a photo of the snake and you know the type, you can send this information to the responders.
More guidelines and providing assistance to another person
It is important not to bypass any medical procedure that will be provided by licensed health care representative, but if you are providing treatment to another person while waiting for them to arrive, you may take a look at these doctor-approved guidelines.
- Allow the wound to bleed, wash with soap and water if the medical professional is not around and do not wash with soap and water (let the health care unit do this) since it will leave traces of the bite to identify the venom to give, and cover with a clean unmedicated bandage.
- Monitor the person who might exhibit symptoms that include redness or swelling around the area of the bite, burning sensation, vomiting, diarrhea, dropping blood pressure levels, fainting, headache, abdominal pain, and rapid pulse. These are some of the symptoms.
- Allow the victim to rest and still keep the area below the heart. This will support more blood flow and circulation which are needed while the body is in pain.
There could be several snake species that may be fatal once they have bitten on a person. These include pit vipers, rattlesnakes, coral snakes, and copperhead snakes.