When hiking or camping out in the wilderness, you never know when you might encounter a venomous snake. Always remember that a snake bite has a potential to be fatal, thus it is important to be prepared on what to do if you or someone sustained a bite from a venomous snake. You can register in a first aid class so that you will be prepared to handle any emergencies.
First aid care for snake bites
An individual who sustained a snake bite has a better chance of survival if emergency care is provided right away. The first thing to do is to call for emergency assistance but while waiting for the medical team to arrive, there are certain considerations to be familiar with to help out the individual.
- You have to make sure that the individual is away from the snake. Take note that there is no rule that indicates that a particular snake can only bite once, thus it is best to get everyone away from the snake as far as possible. If you do not know where the snake went, make sure that the individual is sitting in an area where you can watch out for the snake it case it returns. Nevertheless, do not waste time searching for the snake since most emergency personnel are capable of identifying the snake based on the bite patterns.
- Do not elevate the bite site. You have to keep it below the level of the heart and wash it with warm water and soap if it is available. This will not eliminate the poison but can prevent potential bacteria out of the bite site. Try to calm the individual by encouraging him/her to sit down.
- Most snake bites typically occur on the extremities such as the legs or arms. In case the individual is wearing any constricting clothing or jewelry, they must be removed to prevent tissue death in case of swelling. While waiting for the medical team to arrive, you have to wrap the bandage around the affected limb, 2-4 inches above the bite. If this is performed, you have to ensure that the bandage will not disrupt the flow of blood from a vein or artery but also make sure that it is not too loose that you can slip one finger under it.
- Observe for signs of shock. Do not cut the bite site or attempt to suck out the poison using your mouth since this can do more harm than good.
Important tips to bear in mind
You can easily avoid snake bites by observing safety precautions while in the outdoors, especially for those who love to go on treks in the wilderness. The individual must wear long pants and high boots when going outdoors, especially in areas where snakes are likely to hide.
Always remember not to stick your hand into any place that snakes ca hide unless you already checked to ensure that the space is empty.