Snake bites are a serious matter. If you want to know which snake is poisonous in a quick glance, then look at the fang marks and the snake’s eyes. Usually, a non-poisonous snake has circular eyes and leaves multiple fang marks while a poisonous snake has vertical pupils, triangular head, pit nostrils and leaves only two distinct fang marks. But – even if you think the snake that has bitten you is not poisonous, it is important to take action immediately. Here are then some snake bite first aid interventions you can do before or while you get to the hospital:
#1: Lower the bitten area.
If your arm is bitten, never raise it. Keep the bitten area (regardless of what part it is) low because by virtue of gravity, the blood affected by the bite would not circulate fast as compared when you raise the area. What we want is to delay the circulation and absorption of possible poison contamination of the blood.
#2: Clean with soap and water.
You can wash and clean the area with soap and water. It does not readily or completely remove possible poison from the bite but it can help. Also, by cleaning the area, you reduce the risk of infection.
#3: Avoid using cold compress to the area!
Using cold compress or packs does not help. In fact, it can further worsen the condition since it can increase the risk for absorption of possible poison. In addition, avoid also sucking the blood from the bitten area since it does the same thing when you use cold compress.
#4: Never tie a cloth or use tourniquet around the bitten area!
We’ve seen it in movies. They try to wrap a strip of cloth tightly around a bitten leg or an arm in an attempt to slow down the absorption of the poison. But in reality, never attempt to do so! Research now says that using a tourniquet or cloth can lead to amputation (cutting off a part of the body).
As an additional note, when a person is bitten by a snake, don’t attempt to go near the area immediately. Snakes are territorial animals so anyone who goes near is in danger. If in cases you witness such circumstances, you can help by applying these snake bite first aid interventions.