Health Tips – Snake Bite

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Treatment:

* Keep the victim calm and still.
* Keep the affected area below the level of heart, so as to contain venom locally.
* Wash hands thoroughly or put on the latex gloves before attending the wound.
* If the bite is not bleeding, wash the wound well with mild soap and water and pat dry with clean swabs or other non-fluffy material.
* If the bite is actively bleeding, control the bleeding by applying direct pressure with a clean and dry cloth until the bleeding subsides.
* Remove any of the constricting items.
* Lightly compress the limb above the wound with a roller bandage.
* Immobilise the injury, immobilise an injured arm with a sling and an injured leg by binding it to the injured leg.
* If the patient stops breathing, be ready to resuscitate if needed.
* Observe the bite for signs of infection (increasing skin redness, swelling) and other vital signs (temperature, pulse, rate of breathing, blood pressure).
* If the area around the wound begins to swell and change colour, the snake was probably poisonous.
* Get medical help as soon as possible.

Warning

* Do not apply ice or a cold pack to snakebite because cold can cause the venom to spread further.
* Do not apply a Tourniquet such as a belt, necktie or cord.
* Do not slash the wound with a knife.
* Never try to suck the venom orally.
* Patient should never be put to strenuous physical exercises.
* Site of the bite should not be raised above the heart level.
* No stimulants or pain medicators should be taken without the prescription of the doctor.
* Removal of the dressing/elastic wraps to be avoided until you are at a facility ready and able to administer antivenom.
* Do not eat or drink unless told by the doctor.

Prevention

* Do not thrust hands or feet into any areas if you cannot see into the area.
* Avoid playing or picking up any snake unless you are properly trained.
* Wear long pants and boots if possible while hiking into an area known to have snakes.
* If given adequate warning, snakes will avoid coming near to you. Hence before entering an area with an obscured base, tap ahead with a walking stick.

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