First Aid Snake Bite – what to do?

First Aid Snake Bite steps:

  • Call medical help immediately.
  • Remain calm. Remember most snake bites are not fatal.
  • Don’t move the victim or as little as possible.
  • If you are bitten on the arm or finger remove any rings, bracelets or watches. Loosen tight clothing in case swelling occurs.
  • Apply a pressure bandage to the bitten limb.
  • If the bite is to the trunk, head or neck, apply firm pressure to the bitten area.
  • Splint or use a sling on the bitten limb to restrict movement.
  • If there is no bandage or equivalent to apply a pressure bandage make note of any inflammation by tracing the edge of the swelling with a pen and mark the time clearly next to it. If it progresses make a new mark beside that new tracing. This will give valuable information to medical help as to the development of the swelling.
  • Lie down and keep the bitten extremity at body level. Raising it can cause venom to travel through the body quicker. Holding it down, can increase swelling.
  • Arrange for transport to the nearest hospital if possible, where anti-venom for snakes common to the area will often be available.

What definitely not to do:

  • NO aspirin or other pain relievers.
  • NO tourniquets. This cuts blood flow completely and may result in loss of the affected limb.
  • DO NOT try to suck the venom out of the wound or cut into the bite with a knife.
  • DON’T apply a cold compress or ice on the bite.
  • DO NOT raise the wound above the heart. Raising it can cause venom to travel into the body. Holding it down, can increase swelling.
  • DON’T wash the snake bite area.
  • DO NOT try and capture the snake but try to take a photo with a camera or with your phone. This is the best way in aiding snake identification.

Here is a great video for First Aid Snake Bite: