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Animal bites: Understanding snake bites

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Cases of snake bites have been reported every year. Getting a bite from a poisonous snake might be fatal and must be managed as an emergency. Even a puncture from a non-poisoning snake could be serious that can lead to an infection or an allergic reaction. Venomous snakes are capable of producing various symptoms including localizing swelling and pain, nausea, convulsions and even paralysis.

There are first aid measures that must be carried out after snakes bites such as cleansing the wound, staying calm and immobilization of the affected area. Nevertheless, it is vital to bring the individual to the nearest emergency department for proper treatment. If treated promptly, the outlook for recovery is a good one.

How to identify venomous snake bites

Snake bites
There are first aid measures that must be carried out after snakes bites such as cleansing the wound, staying calm and immobilization of the affected area.

Venomous snake bites can be difficulty to differentiate from the non-venomous types. In case uncertain if the snake is venomous, deal with the situation as if it was. If an individual has been bitten by a snake, you will surely know right away. It is likely though for the bite site to occur quickly and for the snake to disappear. When identifying snake bites, the following general symptoms must be considered:

  • Two puncture wounds
  • Pain at the bite site
  • Swelling and redness around the wound
  • Blurry vision
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sweating and salivating
  • Numbness in the limbs and face

Take note that some venomous snakes cause specific symptoms.

First aid

You have to bring the individual to the nearest healthcare facility as quickly as possible. Nevertheless, there are also some tips that must be taken into consideration such as the following:

Call for emergency assistance.

  • Try to keep the individual calm and still. Remember that unwanted movement can cause the venom to spread rapidly all over the body. You can create a splint to limit movement of the affected area.
  • Any tight or constricting clothing or jewelry must be removed since the bite site is likely to swell.
  • Transport the individual by vehicle. Do not allow the individual to walk.
  • In case the snake is dead, bring to the healthcare facility for identification purposes.

Treatment for snake bites

An important aspect when caring for snake bites is to bring him/her to the nearest emergency department right away. The doctor will assess the individual so that the specific course of treatment is decided on.

In some cases, snake bites from venomous strains are not dangerous. The harshness depends on the site of the bite, age and overall health of the individual. In case the bite is not serious, the doctor will simply clean the wound and provide the individual with a tetanus vaccine.

For life-threatening situations, the doctor might administer an anti-venom. This is the substance produced with snake venom to counteract the symptoms and administered intravenously. If administered promptly, the more effective it will be.

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