What should you do if a snake bites you?
Have you ever been bit by a snake? Probably not, because snake bites are actually quite rare. Even with that in mind, it is a good idea to know what to do in the event that you or someone you know does get bitten.
Let’s set the scene. You and your significant other are camping. You decide to go for a hike to take in the sights of the land around you. It is absolutely beautiful. Suddenly, your spouse lets out a noise of pain. You look to them and they tell you a snake bit them. You weren’t sure what kind of snake it was and it slithered away before you could get a good look at it. You think back to every movie you have ever seen with a snake bite and remember Hollywood’s method of dealing with it; you are supposed to suck out the venom, right?
This is actually an incredibly outdated method of dealing with a snake bite. Suction, along with other older methods of dealing with bites like incisions are effectively obsolete. Instead, the first thing you should do if you or someone you are with is bitten by a snake is to get away from the snake as quickly as possible. Then, you must attempt to stay calm as you arrange transportation to the hospital or other medical center.
It is also important that the area the person is bitten remains below the heart level. Most snake venom works as a coagulant, meaning it thickens blood to the point it becomes a thick jelly. This is something you absolutely do not want to get into your heart! You also will want to remove any constricting clothing or jewelry from around the area to prevent further damage.
When you make contact with a first responder they will likely focus on managing the victim’s airways, helping support their breathing, and keeping their circulation as strong as possible. An IV catheter will likely be inserted into the surrounding area as the patient is being transported to a hospital or other health facility.
Once you make it to the hospital, the doctor is going to have some questions that may sound strange but are actually very important when dealing with a snake bite. If you have a sheep or horse allergy it may be more difficult to provide you with anti-venom. This is because these animals are used while making anti-venoms.