Australia is home to many of the most venomous snakes in the world.
The effects that snake bites can have will vary depending on the type of snake that has bitten the person.
The most serious effect is paralysis of the breathing muscles which can lead to death.
First Aid Management
The most common method of managing a snake bite is the pressure immobilisation technique. This method is effective because the pressure of the bandage over the bite area slows the rate at which venom enters the circulation.
The rescuer should:
- Observe DRSABCD and seek urgent medical assistance (000)
- Do not wash any venom away – this is used to identify the snake
- Apply a broad pressure bandage (15cm is possible) over the bite site as soon as possible. If there are no bandages available improvise using whatever is available (a shirt, seatbelt, car seat covers etc)
- In order to further restrict lymphatic flow and to assist in immobilisation of the limb, apply a further pressure bandage, commencing at the fingers or toes and continue upwards covering as much of the limb as possible
- Splint the limb to restrict movement
- Keep the casualty and the limb completely at rest.
What should you do?
We all respond to emergencies in different ways.
Whether trained or untrained, some of us are afraid we will do the wrong thing and make the situation worse.
If you are unsure about what to do, call for an ambulance.
The worst thing to do is to do nothing.