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First Aid after a snake bite

Erste Hilfe nach einem Schlangenbiss KEverything you have seen in the movies, such as sucking the venomous out of the wound, cutting it out with a knife etc. is COMPLETELY wrong. You would only increase the damage which is already done. The ONLY things that really work are the following:

1. Calm the victim down
This is the first step. Fear and panic result in a higher pulse rate and therefore quicken the spreading of venomous if any is present. Most of the snakes are harmless but can also bite and generally leave the same marks as venomous bites. Even venomous snakes do not always inject venomous if its reason for biting someone is self-defence. Nowadays, the treatment of snakebites is so effective that they are seldom mortal.

2. Treatment of the bite wound
The wounds should be cleaned and covered to avoid further infections. Do not try to extract any venomous by putting pressure on the area. If the bite is in the hand or arm, remove all rings and watches because of possible swelling.

3. Immobilize the wounded area
To slow down the spreading of any possible venomous, immobilize the wound area (arm or leg) without applying any pressure. Do not let the victim walk or run!!! The less movement, the better.

4. Try to slow down the blood circulation of the affected limb
If there is no hope of finding medical treatment within 30 minutes of the incident, you will have to slow down the blood circulation by bandaging the affected limb.
The slowing down of the blood circulation might be the only way to prevent the spreading of the venomous in the above scenario. The bandage should be applied by a person with some experience in first-aid, or if possible, by a doctor because of the risk of increasing the damage is always there. The bandage, preferably slightly elastic if available, or a towel or a similar piece of material, and then applied in such a way that the circulation is slowed down but never completely stopped. Do not remove the bandage before arriving at the hospital!!

● This method should only be applied in critical situations due to the danger of doing more harm than good.

● Some venoms can start to dissolve the tissue in the affected area. If the pressure of the bandage is to strong, the extremities can be so affected that it can result in necessary amputation.

● Upon releasing the pressure of the bandage, the blood circulation surges, thus spreading the venomous very rapidly, which is exactly what you were trying to avoid.

5. Transport of the victim
The victim should be transported lying down and should be transported to a hospital as quickly as possible. Find out whether the hospital (most do) have snake serum available. Avoid allowing the victim to walk as this increase the blood circulation.

6. Observe the victim
During transportation of the victim, he/she should be constantly observed. The bite may inflict extreme pain. Some snakes have nerve venomous, thus numbing the wound area and being almost pain free. Depending on the kind of venom, swelling, vomiting, a racing heart beat and headache, vomiting blood, hanging eyelids and localized loss of tissue might occur. Never give any painkilling medication since most of these have a thinning effect on the blood and therefore increase the spread of venomous.

7. At the hospital
To ascertain which kind of serum is to be used, it is very important to give as much information as possible about what kind of snake inflicted the bite. If at all possible, bring the (killed) snake with you. If this is not possible, try to remember the colour, shape of the head, size. etc. You should also make sure that the tetanus inoculation is current.

First Aid: spitting cobra
Some Cobras spit their venom straight into the eyes of their victim. They can do this with stunning accuracy up to 3 meters. The eyes should be rinsed out thoroughly with clear water. Since this is the first line of defence of the cobra, try to avoid being bitten afterwards by slowly retreating. The cobras are amongst the most deadly snakes in the world!
Venomous animals in Thailand
Sea creatures
Common snakes in Thailand
Mildly venomous and non-venomous snakes
Venomous snakes

DIY Snake catcher
Snake tongs
Prevention snake bites

Emergency telephone numbers

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