Unfortunately for the majority of the time, a venomous snakebite doesn’t normally occur near a hospital or emergency medical station. It’s when a person is out camping or hiking that an unexpected encounter may occur. As such, time is of the essence to avoid long term bodily deterioration and even death. Below are some common-sense directions to help ease the pain, tend to your injuries, and prevent a worst case scenario from occurring.
- REACT INSTANTLY – Once bitten, don’t waste time doing nothing. Do your best to signal for help, reach medical help or begin to treat yourself, but under no circumstances should you feel that your “minor” bite can wait.
- IDENTIFY THE CULPRIT – Your number one priority is to determine whether the snake that bite you was venomous or not. You can determine this to some extent by the shape of its head. A triangle shape indicates venomous; a narrow head is normally non-venomous. If unsure, err on the side of caution and treat it as a venomous bite.
- BE AWARE OF THE SYMPTOMS OF SNAKE VENOM – What changes do you feel throughout your body after a bite? “Take inventory” of your symptoms, for they will indicate what type of venom you may have in your system.
- TO TREAT OR NOT TO TREAT? – Sometimes doing nothing is better than doing something incorrectly. Assess the possible time frame to reach medical assistance. The distance to help, coupled with your specific symptoms will determine if you should apply first-aid to yourself.
- WHEN HELP IS ON THE WAY, REMAIN IMMOBILE – Moving around without purpose only contributes to the venom moving increasingly faster throughout your system. Instead, lay down, keeping your head above your heart level and don’t move from there unless absolutely necessary.
- MORE NOT TO DO, THAN TO DO – Avoid “old-fashioned” remedies that, in this day and age, have been proven ineffective or at worst, detrimental to you. Don’t apply a tourniquet, don’t cut around the bite, and definitely, don’t suck out the venom.
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