Tis the season! Not the season for the jolly man, but the season for the slithering kind! The weather is really warming up and the snakes are coming out to enjoy the beautiful weather with us.
You only have to look to social media and can see that they are making their way into your backyards, patios, footpaths and the odd one heading indoors, as well as the usual places such as the bush and forests.
Are you prepared? Let’s talk about those 7 things YOU should NEVER do if bitten by a snake!
1. NEVER BRUSH IT OFF AS A NON-VENOMOUS SNAKE.
Call emergency services in every case. Act early. Call Triple Zero (000) or 112 from your mobile and ask for an ambulance.
Waiting to see if you begin to develop symptoms could prove to be a fatal mistake. Otherwise you can use the Emergency app on your mobile to contact Emergency Services. This will help to locate where you are. Do yourself a favour and download the app.
2. NEVER PANIC – Wow!
That one is hard to do in a real emergency, however keeping calm and staying as still as possible can help slow down the spread of venom through your body.
3. DON’T MOVE
Now this one feels strange to people, however it is simple. If you move by running to grab your phone or moving about, you are at risk of spreading the venom. Venom travels through your lymphatic system. NOT moving your body might just save your life! The key is to stay calm and still to help prevent the venom travelling further into your body. First Aid is super important, so inhale, taking in some very deep breaths to keep yourself focussed and as calm as possible ready for the next steps.
4. NEVER CUT OR SUCK OUT THE POISON
Well that one seems obvious! Just putting it out there so you are sure about this one! That’s old school thoughts.
5. DON’T CHASE AFTER THE SNAKE
Let the snake go on its merry way, however tempting it might be to catch it or seek revenge!
Snakes generally aren’t out to attack. On many occasions they attack simply when they feel threatened. A range of tests can be done at hospital these days to determine what type of snake has bitten you. They will then be able to evaluate what type of treatment that is required for you.
6. NEVER WASH OR CLEAN THE BITE SITE
If you have a pad or even a piece of plastic, place it over the area where you have been bitten. This is so it can soak up the venom and hopefully preserve it for later testing.
7. NEVER USE A TOURNIQUET
Again, that’s old school thinking. Instead apply a pressure immobilisation bandage if you have been bitten on your limb – you are doing this so it can stop the venom moving through your lymphatic system. If you don’t have a bandage with you, other material can be used such as a torn-up T-Shirt, stockings or other stretchy fabric. This will do the trick and act as your bandage.
Mark the bite site on the bandage with your lipstick, pen, mud or any substance that will leave an indicator for emergency services to know where you have been bitten. Once this is done, prepare a splint over the bandaged limb to keep it from moving.
Idea’s for a splint? – A rolled up magazine, a stick, clothes rolled up firmly etc. Secure the splint by applying more bandages.
You won’t need to put a pressure immobilisation bandage in place if you have been bitten on your head, chest or torso.
How are you feeling about that so far?
Knowing what to do (and what not to do) can make all the difference in saving someone’s life or saving your own.
This blog doesn’t substitute learning what to do in a real first aid emergency for a snake bite or other emergency. Learn about the symptoms and practice the application of bandaging at a First Aid course.
That’s why we are here to help. Head to our Booking page to book yourself a First Aid course today! We cater for workplace training too!