Tips for Surviving a Snakebite
Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t be terrified upon stumbling a snake? Well, how about getting bitten by one? It’s hard to imagine the situation until you experience it first-hand.
Unfortunately, some people do get bitten by snakes, and a venomous one to make matters worse.
Despite it, many people still find themselves bitten, and if left untreated, it results in severe physiological damages. Help doesn’t come immediately if you get bitten.
So you deal with the pain by yourself until then. Below are ten tips on surviving a venomous snakebite if professional medical aid has yet to come.
1. Move away from the snake as far as possible
Known as very territorial creatures, snakes will do anything to keep danger away from their home, especially when provoked. It will continue to attack until it sees that its enemy goes away.
Moving far from it decreases the chance of a second bite and gives you a fair chance to do the second tip here.
2. Do not panic
Panicking finds itself as the immediate response of people to snakebites. However, it hastens the heartbeat rate, which then hastens blood flow.
This leads to faster spreading of the venom inside the body, making treatment more difficult. Preventing this by taking deep breaths and calming yourself helps you think more rationally.
If bitten, make yourself relaxed and move away from the snake as fast as possible first.
3. Call for immediate help
This tip often applies to people who find themselves with a companion or a fast phone signal. If the incident occurs, immediately call for professional help.
Taking a good look at the snake and remembering it also aids the medical experts in treating the venom efficiently. The features of the snake, when properly described, helps the doctors in prescribing the correct anti-venom for the bite.
Some states have mobile numbers specialized in responding to specific emergencies only. These emergencies include snakebites.
Saving one of them on your phone can be beneficial if such casualties occur in the future.
4. Do not attempt to treat the wound on your own
Snakebites vary from a flesh wound by miles. The venom gives the snakebite the reason why treating it differs. Categorizing a snakebite as a normal wound spells increasing danger.
Things such as applying a tourniquet, washing, sucking, or cutting the bite make the conditions worse. Instead, stay still and perform the three tips as mentioned above first.
Applying pressure bandages on the bite aids in slowing the movement of the venom to the lymphatic system. If no bandages on sight, a torn shirt or any clean piece of clothing can serve as a substitute.
This then makes this one of the best first-aid responses for snakebites.
5. Control your emotions
Similar to that of panicking, letting various emotions take over worsens the scenario. Some people even attempt to kill the snake that caused the biting.
Leaving the snake alone not only calms the situation down but also lessens the risk of taking another snake bite. Be reminded that, in some cases, even a dead snake can still bite back.
6. Remove any form of accessory near the bite site
Accessories such as rings, watches, bracelets, and related also functions as a tourniquet near the bite. Having a tourniquet indeed inhibits the movement of the venom in the body.
However, it does more harm to the surrounding tissues because the venom is just concentrated there. This then may lead to permanent damage to that part of the body even when treated.
Removing such accessories prevents this from happening.
7. Encircle the bite
Using a pen or any form of marking material to circle the bite hastens the treatment procedure. Encircle the area infected by the venom and mark the edge of the pain or swelling.
It serves as an alternative method in helping the doctors if you were unable to see the snake correctly. Knowing the bite’s severity enables them to give proper diagnosis and treatment.
That’s even without describing the snake species. Repeat the marking process every 30 minutes or so.
8. Do not drink any form of caffeine and alcohol
Most people drink alcohol for numbing any pain, but not for snakebites. Along with caffeine, alcoholic beverages increase heart rate, which again hastens blood flow.
If you got bitten, drinking alcoholic or caffeinated beverages aids in making the venom spread faster. Avoid doing such things and try to calm yourself down.
9. Do not use a cold compress
As stated in tip #4, snakebites are far different than an ordinary wound. Applying cold compress to the bite only worsens the conditions.
Doing this prevents fresh circulation of blood around the site. As a result, the venom hastens’ damaging effects as the body’s natural defenses are hindered.
In other words, it may have the same impact as putting a tourniquet near the bite. Instead, clean the bite with soap and water and wrap it with clean clothing.
10. Plot the easiest, fastest, and safest way to get help
In most cases of snakebites, people get help with their companion or strong cell phone signal. However, cases of snakebites from people isolated from any form of help also exist.
In cases like this, plotting the easiest, fastest, and safest escape from the site of the incident is crucial. Most especially in extreme situations, such as no first-aid, no signal, or no companion, this tip is vital.
As stated in tip #2, panicking prevents rational thinking. Calming yourself down allows you to plot the best escape to reach help. Remember, venomous snakebites cannot be treated without professional aid.
So do everything you can to survive until you get proper treatment.
Avoiding Snakes is a Great Prevention Measure
In conclusion, though considered to be dangerous, snakes are just very defensive creatures. They do not attack unless provoked.
In fact, these creatures actually fear humans and others stronger than them. They tend to hide all the time, venomous or not. So why bother disturbing them?
To avoid getting bitten, just avoid it when you see one. You know what they say: prevention is better than cure.
JP is basically a person who loves to write anything that comes to his mind. He dreams of becoming a published writer someday. Currently, he’s working on how to make that dream a reality.