A snake bite is one of the scariest danger in nature since only one snake bite is enough to drive us to death. The most dangerous type of snakes which can lead to death are the venomous ones. That’s why when you get a snake bite, you cannot treat it as you do.
The first thing to do is going to the hospital or calling for the emergency help. But while waiting for the medical help, whether it is you who are bitten or you are the one who is the victim of snake bite, here are several things (first aid )you must do:
- Keep calm, being panic just increase the heart rate and make the venom spread faster.
- Stop any activity immediately and limit the movements.
- Clean the bitten area using betadine, but never use water.
- If available, use a splinting to immobilize the bitten area. But do not make it too tight, it may affect the blood circulation.
- Try to remember characteristics of the snake: its color, its shape, and the patterns on its body. It is important for you to have a mental picture of the snake and describe it to the medical staff at the hospital so that it is easier to find the right antivenom.
- Remove any jewelry and tight clothing, since the bitten area may swell and those tight clothing are difficult to be removed.
- Positioning yourself as can as possible to make the bitten area is at or below the heart level. It is important to reduce the venom flow to the major area.
What not to do when snake bite
- No alcohol, caffeine etc. Some people may want to drink alcohol to calm themselves, but that is a wrong way. Alcohol, caffeine, and others increase the heart rate and metabolism then make the venom spread faster. No drink and no eat may be the best way until you get the medical help.
- Do not apply any icing treatment to the bite, several studies prove that icing makes the venom spread faster.
- Do not try to catch the snake, even if it is done in order to show the snake to the medical staff. Beside it is a useless thing to do, if you are alone, the movements you make when trying to catch or kill the snake may put you in danger than the snake itself. If there is someone with you, just try to focus on helping you treat the snake bite. Even if some people are around, the snake may attack them too. So, it is much better to remember the snake’s characteristics as a mental picture.
- Do not cut or make any incision on the bitten area. It is useless since there is no improvement that it will reduce the dangerous risk of snake venom. Instead, it will waste the time you have, lead to infection and cause an unwanted blood loss.
- Do not try to suck the venom. What they had watched in the movies make some people try to suck the venom with their mouth. It is dangerous. The movies did not tell them that snake venom also can enter the body through the injury inside the mouth of the sucker (for example an injured gum ) and this action also can bring more danger for the victim because there are some bacteria inside human mouth, and it may bring infection to the bitten area.
- Do not give any electric shock or use a stun gun, string and tourniquets. These methods have not been proven as effective methods.
- Do not burn the bitten area, it is useless since once the venom has entered the body, it has entered the bloodstream.
- Do not fall asleep. It will reduce your awareness.
- Do not apply any medication until you get the medical help.
Things to be considered:
- Not all kind of snakes is venomous. Reminding this may help you to stop from being panic and keep calm while waiting for the medical help.
- Keep calm does not mean you can underestimate to treat the bitten area as soon as possible and do all of the first aid steps as correct as possible.
- It is true that not all kind of snakes are venomous and causing death, but it does not mean you can use your own judgment to decide whether the one which has bitten you is venomous or not. Treat each snake bite as a snake bite from a venomous snake.
The only treatment for a venomous snake bite is an anti-venom serum or injection. Do not apply any medication until you get the anti-venom
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