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How to Treat a Snake Bite

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When you do get bitten by a venomous snake, getting medical care as soon as possible is imperative.

Remain as calm as possible. Panic will increase your heart rate and if the snake is venomous, the increased heart rate will just spread the venom through your body faster. Try and stay as calm and quiet as possible.

Quickly move away from the snake. Try to remain as still as possible once you have reached a safer area.

Keeping the bitten part of you below the level of your heart slows down the flow of any affected blood towards the heart, which would then pump the venom throughout your body.

 Bites from venomous snakes can cause rapid and severe swelling. Even a loose piece of clothing can become too tight as the bite area swells. So remove clothing, jewellery, or constricting items.

Clean the wound as best as you can, but don’t flush it with water. Take a clean cloth soaked in water and clean the wound gently but as thoroughly as possible. When the wound is clean, cover it with a clean cloth.

Wait for, or go for, medical help. The best you can do is find medical help as soon as possible.

Once you have cleaned the wound and have removed any jewellery, if there is little or no swelling, the bite is less likely to be from a venomous snake.

Don't try to cut or suck the venom out. Cutting the wound could cause more problems and increases the risk of infection. Anyone sucking out venom may actually swallow some and be poisoned themselves.

Don’t use a tourniquet or use ice on the wound. Experts believe that a tourniquet could potentially restrict blood flow too much and ice can increase the damage to the wound.

Don’t drink any alcohol or caffeine-- this can increase your heart rate and spread any venom that may be there. Instead, stay hydrated with water.

 

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