Snake bite first aid - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Snake bite first aid

When working in areas that have snakes, there is always the risk of snakebites.  There are a few things that you should know in case you or anyone in your group should get bitten by a snake, the first thing to know is poisonous snakes usually leave a two pointed bite mark where their fangs have penetrated the skin. Non poisonous snakes leave a horseshoe shaped bite mark.

If a venomous snake has bitten you or anyone in your group, call 911 immediately. Keep the victim calm. Forget what you've seen on TV shows. Do not cut the bite or try to suck the venom out by mouth. This will only cause infection. A tourniquet should never be used because it will cut off circulation and may lead to a loss of a limb. Don't pack it in ice and don't give the victim any alcohol. Alcohol will only speed up the heart rate causing the poison to spread. If close to running water, wash the bite with soap and warm water. Allow the wound to bleed for around 30 seconds before stopping it. Treat the victim for shock.

Place gauze over the wound and wrap it in an ACE wrap. Immobilize the limb using a splint. Try to keep the bite at heart level to prevent swelling and the spread of the venom. Keep all dressings on until the doctor or paramedics arrive and remove it themselves. The way to save a person is to get them anti-venom as soon as possible. Time is very important so don't waste precious time trying to hunt down the snake. After the victim has been cared for, if you can't visually identify the snake species, you can try to capture the snake. Just make sure you don't get bitten in the process. Capturing the snake can aid in treatment but isn't always necessary. Visual identification is just as good as bringing in the actual snake. Before venturing out, make sure you know which snakes are native to the region and what they look like, so in the event of a bite, you'll be able to identify the offending snake.

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