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8 Important First Aid Treatments after a Snake Bite

The bite of all snakes is not poisonous because when the snake bites in its self defense, little or no venom is injected into the body of the victim. Most of the people die not because of venom but from fear and wrong treatment.

In case of snake bite the type of snake must be identified, because if the snake is nonpoisonous there is no need of giving antivenin treatment but if the snake is poisonous antivenom treatment should be given.

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If the snake cannot be found or cannot be identified, it should be treated as poisonous and general ant venom treatment should be immediately given without wasting much time in search or identification of the snake.

Signs and Symptoms:

Signs and symptoms of mild to moderate snake poison include nausea, vomiting, mild swelling and pain at the site of wound, shortness of breath, rapid pulse and dimmed vision. In case of severe poisoning the symptoms include rapid swelling, numbness and pain at the site of wound, blurred vision, shock, convulsions and paralysis. There is loss of consciousness, difficult breathing and slow pulse.

First Aid Treatment:

(i) Lay the patient down, try to cool and calm him. Give him assurance as he is generally very frightened.

(ii) Do not allow him to move the bitten part because the movement may favour faster absorption of poison into systemic circulation.

(iii) Apply a constricting band, cloth or tourniquet above the fang mark to prevent the spread of poison to other parts of the body through veins and to prevent the flow of blood towards the heart.

(iv) Wash the wound with soap and water.

(v) Make a sharp cut (cross wise) over the bitten area and allow to bleed by squeezing the area.

(vi) Suck out the poison with a suction pump or by mouth (carefully) and spit it out. Be sure that there are no ulcers in the mouth of the sucker.

(vii) If breathing ceases give artificial respiration.

(viii) Transfer the patient immediately to a hospital.

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