Friday, 1 October 2010

Poisonous Snake Bites - What Not To Do

Throughout the world there is an average of 2.5 million venomous snake bites each year. Of those, 125,000 result in death, largely because anti-venom is not readily available in the areas that most venomous snake bites occur. If you are in a situation in which yourself or someone you know has been bitten, it is wise to have an idea of the things to do and not to do to lessen the severity of the bite.

In the developed areas of the world, very few deaths occur due to snake bites as more often than not, the antivenoms are on hand at medical facilities. The under developed world is quite the opposite as antivenoms are quite expensive to keep on hand, especially in an area where the average person cannot afford to pay for it when they need it. India has more deaths by snakes than any other country combined.

So, back to the situation when you are someone else has been bit by a venomous snake. The first thing you want to do is get away from the snake, obviously the only thing worse than one bite is two. Now that you are safely away, let's go over a few things that you should not do if there has been a snake bite as many of the old fashion techniques that have worked in the movies are now known to be false and in some cases can make the end result even worse.

Things Not to Do: Do not do these things

  1. Panic: This is tough, but panicking will only result in high heart rates and faster spreading of the venom. The best thing to do is to lie down and take deep breaths, but try to keep the bite lower than the heart. By keeping still, this allows the venom to localize and not spread as much. 
  2. Suck: Do not attempt to suck out venom unless you do it on yourself. Having a person suck on a wound of another person is a good recipe for infection. If done immediately and does not hinder the time of getting medical attention, a person can try to suck out venom on themselves but it is said they will not get much out and probably not worth the effort. A suction device can be used but again will not remove a significant amount of venom.  
  3. Cut: Do not cut the snake bite to extract venom. This may cause tissue damage and will increase blood rate around the bite, making things worse. Again, cutting also brings upon the threat of infection. 
  4. Tourniquet: While it is advised to place a constricting band above and below the bite, placing a tourniquet on the area is highly unadvised and can result in the loss of a limb, and possibly a life.  
  5. Ice: Do not cool the area to prevent swelling. The area needs to swell and should not be hindered. You should remove all rings and bracelets, even if they are not in the bite area, as you never know how and where the toxins will affect you. 
  6. Stimulant: Do not administer any medicines unless a doctor tells you to.

There are other things that should be avoided, but most are common sense. Here is a quick list of the things that you should do: Keep calm and get away from the snake. Keep bite lower than the heart and apply a snug band two inches above and below the bite, but do not make it so tight as to cut off circulation. Slowing the venom moving through the tissue is the goal. Immobilize the bite area to reduce the spread of venom with a splint. If there is a long distance to travel, help will be needed to minimize movement. Contact emergency services as soon as possible and get medical attention where you will be administered antivenoms.

While it is always good to know what to do if you get bit by a rattlesnake, the best thing you can do is avoid getting bit all together. The most definite thing you can do is avoid poisonous snake territory. Of course, this is not always that easy as said. A good way to prevent rattle snake bites is to wear snake protective gear. Snake protection comes in many different forms, and what is best for you will vary with your situation. Snake boots, gaiters, chaps, pants, and gloves are all available for purchase. You can learn more about snake protective gear and the best brands of each at this site:

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1 comment:

  1. The post is good by having the effective content regarding the snake bite along with its treatment which must to have a look at which helps to get awareness on it, Thanks for giving out the valuable content.