How to Treat a Poisonous Snake Bite

How to Treat a Poisonous Snake Bite

You have been bitten by a poisonous snake in the arm. You should stay calm and _____ to slow your heart rate.

• Raise your arm
• Lower your arm
• Suck poison out
• Cut open bite

Answer: Lower Your Arm

In this particular situation, the first thing you should do after a poisonous snake bites your arm is to stay calm, be still as possible, and lower your arm to decrease the flow of blood to the heart.

After a snake bite, the first thing most people do is freak out. It’s extremely important to remain calm to avoid increasing the heart rate. This will cause the poison to circulate much faster and begin to attack vital organs.


Treating a Poisonous Snake Bite
Call 9-1-1 immediately if the person begins to breathe heavily or loses consciousness or if it’s certain the snake is poisonous. Be ready to describe the snake in detail (if possible) to medical personnel.

While waiting for help to arrive, it’s important to ensure the victim is removed from striking distance of the snake and in a safe place. Lie the victim down on the ground with the wound BELOW the heart and keep them calm. Remove any type of jewelry, especially close to the bite. If the victim was bitten on the leg or ankles, remove their shoes as the affected area will begin to swell.

• Apply a tourniquet.
• Cut the bite wound.
• Attempt to suck poison out.
• Give the victim alcoholic beverages or caffeine drinks.

Doing any of these things will only make matters worse. Once again, seek professional medical help if you don’t know what to do.


Treating a Non-Poisonous Snake Bite
If the snake is non-poisonous, the best thing to do is treat it as a puncture wound. To stop any bleeding, apply direct pressure using a sterile gauze or clean cloth until the bleeding stops. Once the bleeding is stopped, wash and rinse the wound with soap and water. Apply antibiotic creams or medical ointments as necessary.

In general, most people can’t tell whether a snake is poisonous or not. If that’s the case, it’s better to treat every snake bite as if it were. Most snakes are not poisonous but they will bite if they feel threatened. The best thing to do is to be aware what snakes live in the territory and know which are poisonous.

~To Your Survival!

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