First Aid for Snake Bites

Knowing proper first aid for snake bites can help save a life. Snakes live around most of the world and can be poisonous or non-poisonous. Unless you happen to research snakes, however, odds are good that you won't know the difference between a poisonous and non-poisonous snake during an emergency. This is why it's so important to know the proper procedure for dealing with a snake bite.

There are many myths when it comes to snake bites. The biggest one is the old, "suck the venom out" routine. Though effective suction devices can be found in snake bite kits, the human mouth does not do a good enough job sucking venom to make any real difference. So unless you happen to be a snake expert stranded on a desert island with someone who has jut been bitten by a poisonous snake, don't try to suck any venom out of the wound.

First Aid for Snake Bites

  1. Identify. If a snake bite occurs, quickly try to identify the snake. Never try to capture the snake, this usually just leads to further bites. But do try to get a good look at the snake so you can identify it on a visual chart.
  1. Immobilize. It's important for any snake bite victim to remain calm both mentally and physically. You want to try to immobilize the area with the bite to reduce the amount of venom seeping into your system.
  1. Remove. Remove any tight fitting jewelry or clothing around the snake bite area. Poisonous snake bites can swell very quickly, and a tight item may seriously restrict blood flow and end up having to be cut off.
  1. Seek.  If you receive a snake bite, it's important to seek medical attention immediately. A doctor will be able to help you determine if the snake was poisonous or not thru your visual identification, an examination of the bite marks and laboratory blood results.

Snake Bite Treatment
If you are bitten by a snake, there are usually a couple of different treatments recommended. Depending on the snake, you may need an injection of anti-venom to help destroy the poison in your system. You may also need a tetanus shot as a preventative measure. You're doctor may prescribe antibiotics if there is concern about infection or pain relievers if you are experiencing pain.

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