Forum > Snakes > What to do in case of snake-bite

Posted by Susan Sharma on January 27, 2014

 
First Aid

It is important to remember that snakes don't bite out of whim.  They are usually forced to bite.   Venom has evolved as a mechanism to subdue prey and snakes need to conserve their venom for that purpose.  Most snake-bites happen when the snake is accidentally provoked.  In some cases (getting more frequent these days), the victim has simply asked for it.  

If you find yourself in a snake-bite situation, simple protocol and presence of mind could save the victim's limb or even life.

Firstly Things Not to Do:

  • Never try to suck out the venom
  • Never make an incision
  • Never go to traditional healers or try home remedies
  • Do not tie tourniques or use ice
  • Never clean out or tamper with the site of the bite
  • Never try and catch the snake or kill it

All the above actions do not work and often cause more damage than good.

Here are things you should do:

  • Make sure the victim and others are a safe distance away from the snake and try to memorise its appearance
  • Stay CALM and in control.  Take charge of the situation and reassure the victim
  • Remove watches, rings, bangles and anything else that will become constrictive if the wound causes swelling
  • Try to immobilise the victim.  Never let him/her run and only allow him/her to walk if unavoidable.
  • In case of neuro-toxic bites (Cobras, King Cobras, kraits, coral snakes and sea snakes), pressure immobilization (Sutherland method) with long crepe or other stretchy bandage(5-10 cm wide, several rolls) and splint to be applied immediately to the bitten limb, starting at the digits and working up to the groin or armpit.  
  • Do not waste time trying to get any elaborate first-aid done.
  • Get to a hospital as soon as is safely possible.
  • Note the time of the bite and the progression of any visible symptoms.
  • Give the doctor details of the bite and symptoms.

Anti snake venom serum is the only proven cure for venomous snake-bite.
 

Snake-bite prevention

As the popular saying goes prevention is better than cure.

  • Take care when clearing vegetation, raking dry leaves in your garden.  Supervise kids in the outdoors, especially in a green neighbourhood.
  • Use torch/flashlight in the night and wear shoes while going out.  Check shoes before wearing them.
  • Watch your step and see before you sit.
  • Keep your backyard free of junk and make sure your solid waste is managed properly.
  • If you see a snake, do nothing.  Let it go.  Do not try to pick it up or kill it.  If a snake has entered your premises, call professional snake rescuers.
Snake-bite is painful and extremely risky.

Share this post:

Post your Comment


Download IWC Android app     IWC Android app



Copyright © 2001 - 2019 Indian Wildlife Club. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Use

Website developed and managed by Alok Kaushik