First aid for snakebite

    • Brief

    • Snakebite is a serious emergency as it can lead to death in a matter of minutes. The severity usually depends on the location of the bite and the type of snake. A snake bites when it is either trying to catch prey or it feels threatened. Someone bitten by a snake may experience symptoms such as pain, blurry vision, swelling and difficulty breathing. Seek medical attention immediately for snakebite.

    • First aid treatment for snake bites

    • First aid after a snake bite helps you recover quickly and prevents death. The following are good first aid tips:

      • Remove anything that could be an obstruction like clothing, jewellery, or a watch from the site of the bite.
      • Stay calm and still as movement will increase the spread of the poison in your body. Also, try to avoid moving part of your body (e.g. hand or leg) that was bitten.
      • Keep the area of the bite below your heart. This will reduce the flow of any poison through your blood.
      • Apply a clean dry bandage over the bite. Ensure the bandage is tight around the bite site.

      You should avoid sucking the venom, cutting the site of the bite, putting ice on the site, applying a tourniquet (a rope or belt that is used to restrict blood flow to your hand, arm, or leg), or even taking painkillers. These can make the bite condition worse.

      You can check out a similar post on first aid for scorpion sting.

    • When to see a doctor

    • It is essential to visit your healthcare provider once you have been bitten by a snake, even if you are not sure what kind of snake bit you. If you know that the snake isn’t poisonous, you should still visit a healthcare provider if you notice any of the following:

      • You feel a sharp pain at the site of the bite.
      • You experience severe allergic reactions such as difficulty breathing and blurry vision.
    • How to prevent snake bites

    • Preventing snake bites is very important, and the following tips can be of help:

      • Be careful around holes: snakes are known to hide in holes and dark places. Always be careful of putting your hand or legs in holes until you are sure the place is safe.
      • Use protective clothing: people at higher risk like farmers, herdsmen, fishermen and hunters should be careful when they work. Protective clothing like leather gloves, long trousers and long boots can be of help.
      • Avoid places know for snakes: do not go to where snakes are common. Take extra care if you are going camping in a forest or swampy area.
      • Do not try to capture or kill a snake: stay away from any snake you see. Walk back slowly and don't throw things at it.
    • Kulawa cares

    • Snakebite is a life-threatening condition that requires urgent medical attention. It is best to prevent snake bites by keeping your surroundings clean and wearing shoes when you step out of your house. If you are bitten by a snake, remain calm and try to identify the snake. This is important information for your healthcare provider, so they can give you the correct antivenom to clear any poison from your body.