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The Essential Snakebite Prevention Guide

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Generally, snakes do not attack humans and rarely come into human habitations. Still, they occasionally will stray into an urban area or, conversely, you may encounter them on your camping trips and other such forays into the wilds. 

If you or your loved one gets bitten by any chance, emergency medical attention will be required. Here are the steps you must take immediately:

  1. Secure the Victim and Call Emergency Services

First things first, ensure the safety of the victim by removing them, as far as possible from the snake. Further bites might mean the injection of a higher quantity of venom, which will increase the risk of serious complications developing. Once this is done, be sure to contact emergency services, to seek help immediately. Be sure to note as many details as you can about the appearance of the snake as this will aid emergency responders in providing treatment.

  1. Remove Jewelry

Jewelry and watches must be removed as soon as possible. This is because snake bites tend to induce swelling, and when this happens, it will make things much harder to remove, and potentially cut off the blood supply. 

  1. Slow the circulation of the venom

Do not attempt to administer any medication until emergency responders arrive. What you can do is help to slow the spread of the venom by encouraging the victim to remain calm, with their heart elevated above the site of the bite. 

  1. Apply bandage

Hopefully, you will have a first aid kit which contains sterile bandages. Cover the bite wound lightly, with a sterile bandage but do not apply a tourniquet. When going off a trip, or if you live in an area with a lot of snakes, having a snakebite kit at your disposal is a must. You can order a set from Rapid Rescue.

Things not to do:

In the event of a snakebite, the list of things not to do is just as important as what to do. Here are important notes to remember:

  1. Do not give any medication, especially NSAIDs – NSAIDs, a type of medicine that includes ibuprofen, may worsen the effects of venom depending on the type of snake.
  2. Do not apply a tourniquet—applying a tourniquet may lead to extensive tissue damage in the local area.
  3. Do not attempt to cut and suck or otherwise extract the venom—not only is this not effective but may aid in the spread of the venom through the circulatory system if a vein or artery is accidentally ruptured.
  4. Do not apply ice—ice may worsen the effects of the snakebite by causing smaller blood vessels to constrict.

According to the WHO, about 5.4 million snake bites occur each year, resulting in between 81, 000 and 138, 000 deaths. Snakebites have the potential to be deadly, but thanks to modern medicine, most snakebites are treatable. Be sure to follow the tips provided in this article, and if you do get bitten, your chances of survival will be much higher.  

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