What should you do if you’re bitten by a venomous snake? Receiving a bite from any snake can be extremely scary and lead people to react poorly and do things they shouldn’t They may panic, try to go after the snake, apply ice to the wound, or other potentially incorrect things. The chances of being bitten by a venomous snake are very low, and the chances of a successful bite being fatal are even lower. It is more likely to die from a dog bite, than a snake.
Bites from a venomous snake do not always deliver a load of venom. Around 25% of venomous snake bites are dry bites, meaning they did not deliver any toxin into the victim. It is never worth waiting to see if symptoms develop or assuming it was a dry bite. Always seek emergency medical attention.
The following dos and don’ts can help you in the event that you or someone you know may be bitten by a venomous snake.
In the unlikely event of a venomous snake bite:
- Call 911 or your local emergency service immediately. Do not wait for symptoms to show.
- Keep the victim calm and as comfortable as possible.
- Remove any jewelry or restrictive clothing near the wound area.
- Keep the bitten area of the body below the heart. (Hand, arm, foot)
- Make note of the time of the bite as well as any visible symptoms if and when they develop.
- Wait for symptoms to show, call 911 immediately and get medical care.
- Try to catch and/or kill the snake. You don’t need to do this for treatment and could get bit again.
- Try to suck out the venom, or apply ice, heat, or a tourniquet to the bite area.
- Take any drugs, alcohol, or other stimulants.