(Modern Survival.org) – If You are Bitten by a Venomous Snake, What should You Do First?
- Restrict Movement
- ID the Snake
- Ice, Wrap and Wait
- Suction the Poison
ANSWER: Restrict Movement. Here’s Why…
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 8,000 people get bitten by venomous snakes in the United States each year. Knowing how to survive a snake bite is critical for those who become a member of this statistic.
First Steps After the Bite
First and foremost, don’t panic. Panicking increases the heart rate and spreads the venom throughout the body faster. If possible, restrict movement and keep the bite wound lower than the heart.
Here are a few other steps to follow after being bitten by a venomous snake:
- When bitten by a snake, it’s important to take note of the color, shape and size of the reptile. This information will help first responders identify the species and aid in the treatment for the bite. While it’s possible the snake might not be venomous, treat every snake bite as if it is until it’s possible to confirm the species.
- Seek medical attention immediately by either calling an ambulance or going to the emergency room.
- Remove jewelry and tight clothing that could become constrictive if the affected area begins swelling.
- Wash the wound with soap and warm water.
- Circle the wound with a marker to track swelling. Write the time down next to each circle as the swelling grows.
What to Avoid
Just as there are steps to take after being bitten by a venomous snake, there are several things to avoid as well:
- Do not apply a tourniquet. This will restrict the flow of the venom to that specific area and could result in the loss of a limb.
- Do not attempt to cut the wound and suck out the venom. First, this could nick a vein or artery, and make an already dangerous situation more deadly. Second, if the person attempting to suck out the poison has a wound in their mouth, the venom could enter their bloodstream, too. This means two people will require medical attention, rather than just one.
- Don’t eat or drink anything, as consuming food and drink can increase metabolism and spread the venom faster.
- Do not apply ice to the wound or immerse it in water.
- Do not try to bring the snake to the emergency room. A simple description of the animal will suffice for identification. Also, trying to catch the snake could lead to additional bites.
The only known remedy for a snake bite is antivenom administered by a medical professional, so seeking medical attention as soon as possible after being bitten is imperative.
To learn how to defend yourself from another reptile with a nasty bite, check out this article on crocodiles.
~Here’s to Your Survival!
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