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Common Mistakes To Avoid In Dealing With Snake Bites

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According to the Royal Flying Doctor Service South Eastern (RFDS SE), a lot of of dangerous myths abound when it comes to treating snake bites. The group did a comprehensive study on the subject and has updated its advice on how to deal with snake bites properly.

“The publication of this study is very timely as the warm, dry winter and sudden rise in temperatures has brought snakes out early this year,” said Tracey King, Senior Flight Nurse at RFDS SE.

According to Mark Pelley, also known as The Snake Hunter, a person can die if the snake bite is not treated properly within 30 minutes.

Pelley also gave an advice about using torniquets, saying:

“Once the high tourniquet is released there is nothing preventing the venom from entering the circulatory system and the onset of effects will be rapid.”

Experts also advise against washing the bite area or attempting to suck the venom out.

RFDS released a list of the most important dos and don’ts on the subject. The list includes the following tips:

  1. Do NOT wash the area of the bite or try to suck out the venom. It’s extremely important to retain traces of venom for use with venom identification kits.
  2. Do NOT incise or cut the bite, or apply a high torniquet. Cutting or incising the bite won’t help. High torniquets are ineffective and can be fatal if released.
  3. Do bandage firmly, splint and immobilize to stop the spread of venom by placing a folded pad over the bite area and then applying a firm bandage. It should not stop blood flow to the limb or congest the veins. Only remove the bandage in a medical facility, as the release of pressure will cause a rapid flow of venom throughout the bloodstream.
  4. Do NOT allow the victim to walk or move their limbs. Use a splint or sling to minimize all limb movement. Put the patient on a stretcher or bring transportation to the patient.
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