Staying calm and seeking immediate medical attention are the key steps to take when it comes to surviving snake bites, especially venomous ones. A venomous snake injects poison into their victim’s bloodstream through a bite.
It can prove fatal, particularly if left untreated. However, serious harm can be prevented and adverse effects reversed if medical attention is promptly sought. Here are some tips on what to do if a snake bites you.
Call 911 immediately if you are bitten by a venomous snake or if you are unsure of the type of snake. If the snake is venomous, it is crucial that you get anti-venom as soon as possible. It’s a bad idea to simply wait and observe whether or not symptoms develop.
If you need to transport yourself to a hospital, have someone else take you. The venom from a snake can cause blurred vision as well as paralysis, fainting and difficulty in breathing. You don’t want to be driving if this happens.
While you wait for medical attention, it is vital for you to stay as quiet, still and calm as possible. If you become agitated, your heart will beat faster, increasing the flow of blood to the infected area, spreading the poison further into your body.
In all likelihood, the area that was bitten will start swelling. Promptly remove jewelry and clothing that is restrictive. Try keeping the bitten part below heart level, reducing circulation from there to the rest of your body.
If the bite is on a leg or arm, splint it. Restricting its movement can prevent you from unknowingly moving it.
Hopefully, you are not alone. If you are with someone who can carry you, ask them to do so to keep your circulation low. If you do have to walk, don’t carry anything, even your backpack.
Don’t try to suck the venom out of the wound yourself. The venom may reenter your body through the membranes of your mouth.
For superficial bites, allow your wound to bleed. Initially, more blood may come out, particularly if the bite is venomous, as venomous blood contains anticoagulants.
If, however, the bite strikes a major artery, causing blood to spurt out, apply pressure immediately to your wound.
Washing the wound is potentially perilous, especially if you are unsure of the type of snake. Medical professionals can determine what type of anti-venom you need by the traces of venom left around your wound. Cover your wound loosely using a clean bandage that hasn’t been medicated.