All of us do not want to have an experience with a snake bite, especially the venomous ones. But, whether the one which bites you is venomous or not, experts said that you must treat all of the snake bites as it is venomous. Since you cannot use your own judgment to decide whether the one which has bitten you is venomous or not.
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, the first aid you can do are:
- Someone does a CPR if needed
- Immobilize the bitten area
- Help the victim to keep calm
- Make a mental picture of the snake: its color, shape etc.
- Write the time when you are bitten.
How long does the venom stay in your system?
The faster an antivenin is given, the better. There is no a certain period of time for the venom to affect your whole body systems. Some of them may take a few hours, the others take several days to react. Why? Because the “outcome” is affected by combinations of variables:
- The snake itself: its type, body temperature, mood.
- The venom itself: its type, quantity (amount of venom) and toxicity level.
- The victim: his or her allergic reaction, and health.
Does the venom endanger your life?
Yes, it does. Snake venoms consist of many enzymes, and these enzymes bring different effects. Some of them may damage your system and lead to death. One example is cholinesterase (neurotoxins), it attacks the nervous system and blocks the receptors site in the diaphragm which leads to a malfunction of muscles. If it continues, the patient will die in 30 minutes unless right after the bite is given, she or he got the proper antivenin and being put on the artificial respirator.
That is just an enzyme, unfortunately, a snake venom consists of more than one enzymes.
Due to how dangerous the snake venom is when a person is bitten, the best treatment is an antivenin and other medical treatments from the professionals. But after being bitten, there are several things you or people around you can do while waiting for the medical help.
What to 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 affects the blood circulation.
What not to do
There are also things you must not do after you are bitten by a venomous snake:
- No alcohol, caffeine etc.
- Do not apply any icing treatment to the bite, several studies prove that icing makes the venom spread faster.
- Do not cut or make any incision on the bitten area. It will waste the time you have, lead to infection and cause an unwanted blood loss.
- Do not try to suck the venom. It is dangerous.
- 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.
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