Snake Bite First Aid

How to Prevent a Bite

  • Slowly and calmly move away from the snake – or let it move away from you if in very close proximity.
  • Do not interact or interfere with the snake:
    • Do not step on it
    • Do not corner it
    • Do not try to pick it up or catch it
    • Do not try and hurt or harm it

Signs of a Bite

  • Puncture Marks / Scratches
  • Bleeding
  • Note: in the case of an Eastern Brown snake bite the signs may NOT be physically visible and there is likely to be limited localised pain/discomfort.

Symptoms of a Bite

  • Headache / Impaired Vision
  • Nausea / Diarrhoea
  • Drowsiness / Faintness
  • Problems Speaking / Swallowing
  • Note: Usually occurs within 1 hour of bite

Snake Bite First Aid

  1. DO NOT wash the bite area. Do not attempt to cut or suck the venom out of the bite site. The hospital staff will swab the affected location to determine whether or what type of anti-venom is required.
  2. Call 000 and request an ambulance.
  3. Keep the casualty calm, still and relaxed. Reassure the person. As it is muscle movement that principally circulates venom through the lymphatic system, get them to sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
  4. Starting at the bottom of the limb, and ideally using a snake bite bandage which has guide on it for appropriate pressure, firmly bandage up the arm or leg to the groin or armpit. Bandage as firmly as you would for a sprained ankle. This will slow the dissemination of any venom through the casualty’s body.
  5. If the bite is on the body, head or neck, bandage firmly over the wound and immobilise the casualty and wait for ambulance to arrive.
  6. Ideally, use a marker pen to indicate where the bite site is on the top of the bandage, and record the time of bite, so doctors can find it easily and can access additional information.
  7. Keep the casualty as still and calm as possible, monitoring breathing and consciousness, until paramedics arrive. Be prepared to put the bite victim into the recovery position and to administer CPR if they go into cardiac arrest.
  8. Avoid giving the casualty food or water, but remember to shade them if in direct sunlight.
  9. Do NOT remove the bandage. Only a paramedic/nurse should do this.

%d bloggers like this: