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Home >> Health Information >> First Aid >> Snake Bite

Snake Bite

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Snake BiteSnake bite is an injury caused by a bite from a snake, usually resulting in puncture wounds inflicted by the animal's fangs and sometimes resulting in envenomation.

The outcome of a snake bite depends on factors such as the species of snake, the area of the body bitten, the amount of venom injected and the health conditions of the person. Usually a person bitten by a snake goes through feelings of terror and panic, racing heart and nausea. Bites from non-venomous snakes can cause injury, due to lacerations caused by the snake's teeth or from a resulting infection. A bite may also trigger an anaphylactic reaction, which is potentially fatal.

Symptoms

  • Puncture marks inflicted by the fangs
  • Swelling or severe pain at the site
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Numbness/tingling sensation
  • Headache
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Difficulty speaking and swallowing
  • Weakness or paralysis of arms or legs
  • Breathing difficulties

Action

  • Rest and reassure casualty continuously - un-necessary panic will only raise the pulse rate and blood pressure and move the venom into the circulatory system faster.
  • Wash the wound with soap and water, pat dry DO NOT rub
  • Immobilize the affected area
  • Keep area below heart. DO NOT elevate the affected limb
  • Get the casualty to a hospital immediately
  • Do NOT cut or suck the bitten area
  • Use pressure immobilization bandage: wide crepe bandage over bite, second pressure bandage upward from bite site towards heart
  • Tie a band about 4 to 6" above bite towards heart
  • Loosen band for a minute or two every 15 to 30 minutes
  • If swelling extends to band, move band a few inches higher
  • Do NOT let person walk, if need be carry him/her
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