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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home First Aid and Emergency Snake Bite

Snake Bite

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First thing to be done in case of a snake bite is to calm down the patient. 70% of snakebites are from non-poisonous species. Of the remaining 30%, only half will actually involve injecting venom. So any stress or panic will adversely affect the blood pressure.

 

First thing to be done in case of a snake bite is to calm down the patient. 70% of snakebites are from non-poisonous species. Of the remaining 30%, only half will actually involve injecting venom. So any stress or panic will adversely affect the blood pressure.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Immobilize the affected body part by bandage
  • Don’t apply bandage tightly
  • Don’t wash wound and Don’t apply any medicine to wound
  • Keep the patient as immobile as possible.
  • Never apply a tourniquet to wound
  • Don’t cut the wound

How to identify a poisonous snake

  • There are various distinguishing features of poisonous snakes from nonpoisonous snakes like
  • Black, Yellow and Red rings along body
  • Triangle shaped heads
  • Small slit like elliptical eyes
  • Some poisonous snake produce rattling sound on their way (a buzz or a dry, whirring sound)
  • Characteristic of water snakes is white lining in mouth
  • Fangs present whose mark is left after bite

Symptoms and complications after a poisonous snake bite

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Bleeding from the gums or any unusual bruising appearing.
  • Drowsiness
  • Bleeding from the wound that does not seem to stop
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Increases in any swelling

Treatment modalities in case of poisonous snake bite

Few snake bites result in local tissue damage for which local and antibiotics can be used. If patient reaches timely to hospital there is availability of anti snake venom. In cases of cobra bites medicines like neostigmine and atropine can be used. There are many other complications like renal toxicity, closing of eyelids and toxicity related to brain.