Ophidiophobia, or the fear of snakes, is one of the most common fears in the world. Most people are afraid of snakes because of stories they’ve heard or movies they’ve watched where the poisonous bite is more than just being painful, it has proven to be deadly. Who hasn’t seen or at least heard of the movie Anaconda? This movie was a big box office hit during its time. Who wouldn’t be afraid giant snakes living in an island slowly eating or killing people one by one? Although the move has proven to be an exaggeration simply because snakes do not grow that enormous, it has still nonetheless increased the fear of these reptiles.
Most snakes are not poisonous and do not pose serious harm. Most usually avoid people and only bite when threatened or surprise. However, some of the more common poisonous snakes are rattlesnakes, water moccasins and coral snakes. If this happened, call the a nearest first aid and CPR providers to attend your medical emergency.
Although, as previously mentioned, snake bites can be fatal, especially if not treated immediately. Due to their size, children are at greater peril for serious complications or death as venom can more easily spread out and reach their vital organs. The key to saving a person’s life is to find the right antivenin and getting medical attention as quickly as possible. However, if no emergency medical help is nearby, first aid training can help treat snake bites properly and will not lead to serious consequences.
The first important thing to do is to not panic. Remain the person calm and assure them that snake bites can be successfully treated in an emergency room. Immobilize the person. To reduce the flow of venom, keep the afflicted area below heart level. Use a pump suction device if one is present and follow the manual given with it. Take away tight clothing and rings or any constricting items because the afflicted area will swell if poisonous. The snake bite was most likely poisonous if there was a change in color in the area. To help restrict movement of the area, create a loose splint.
Here is a related video on How to Survive a Venomous Snake Bite : First Aid if an Adult is Bitten by a Snake[media url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNspMzeJVYY” width=”600″ height=”400″]
The person’s vital signs should be checked and monitored. If signs of shock are present, lay the person flat and elevate the feet about 12 inches. Cover the person with a blanket to protect from body heat. Get medical help as soon as possible.
If possible (and safe to do), bring the dead snake so there can be faster identification and the right antivenin can be given as soon as possible. Extra caution must be given in handling the dead snake due to a snake reflex where it is still capable of biting hours after its death. In any case, try to identify the snake (even if it is not dead), however, do not waste time looking for the snake. There are many first aid and CPR classes that you can attend and learn about first aid implementation.
If it is doable, carry the person to safety in order to not over-exert the person. The snake venom should not be sucked out by the mouth. Nor should the snake bite should not be cut with a knife or razor. Cold compress should not be applied.
It is often hard not to panic when snakes are present, more so when one is bitten. However, the key to reducing the effects is by knowing basic first aid which can be applied in all medical emergencies, especially when emergency help is not nearby. First aid courses teach lay people how to assist in medical emergencies such as these.