FIRST AID in SNAKEBITE:

DO NOTS

Shock - How to Recognise and Treat

Shock is a condition in which the circulatory system fails to circulate blood throughout the body properly. It is a progressive deteriorating condition that can be fatal. It is present to some degree in ALL physical trauma Shock CAN kill. The first indication that a person is going into shock is restlessness or irritability.
Some of the symptoms of shock are:

Although it is impossible to care for shock by first-aid alone, you can take measures that could be life-saving. First-Aid Treatment for shock is:

The first aid of choice, in snakebite, is the pressure bandage

The aim of the pressure bandage is to immobilise the limb and restrict the flow in the lymphatic system. This will slow the transport of the venom dramatically giving you the few hours extra to transport the patient to a well-equipped facility where medical practitioners can take over. A word of advice - many medical men have never seen or treated snakebite. It is fairly rare. Telephone your nearest Poison Centre, University or Snake Park. They usually are able to give advice on physicians with experience of handling snake envenomation. You may ask the treating physician to consult with such a person. Application of the pressure bandage: Get the victim to lie down immediately. Relax and reassure them. Keep calm yourself - you will have enough time. Talk soothingly and be confident. Using a crpe bandage (or torn up strips of material) bandage the bitten limb. Start at the bite site and work upwards. Do not remove clothes as the movement required will assist the venom to spread. Wrap the limb as tightly as you would for a sprain. Firm, but do not cut off the blood supply. Apply a splint to the limb to immobilise it. Avoid massaging or rubbing the bite area. Do not remove the pressure bandage until medical personnel are ready to start treatment.

1.

A VICTIM OF A PUFFADDER BITE TO THE ANKLE
IS MADE TO LIE DOWN IMMEDIATELY

3.

THE WIDE CREPE BANDAGE IS
BOUND AS TIGHTLY AS FOR A SPRAIN

5.

A SPLINT IS APPLIED
TO THE PRESSURE-BANDAGED LIMB

7.

THE LEG IS NOW
COMPLETELY IMMOBILISED BY THE SPLINT

2.

A PRESSURE BANDAGE, ST
ARTING AT THE BITE SITE, IS BEGUN

4.

THE BANDAGE IS TAKEN
AS HIGH UP THE LIMB AS POSSIBLE

6.

THE SPLINT IS BOUND TO THE LIMB
SO AS TO IMMOBILISE IT COMPLETELY

8.

THE PATIENT IS NOW READY
TO BE TRANSPORTED TO A HOSPITAL

Some things to do

 

MEET THE VENOMOUS SNAKES OF THE PENINSULA


Naja Nivea - Cape Cobra, Geelkapel, Koperkapel.

They are said to be more aggressive during the mating season - which is usually from September to October. A bite from a Cape Cobra constitutes a grave medical emergency. Its venom is as potent as a Black Mamba's - but it injects less of it. Transport the patient as rapidly as possible to a medical facility after pressure bandaging. Be prepared to support breathing.

 


Bitis Arietans - Puff adder, Pofadder

The venom is potently cytotoxic and a bite from it is a fairly serious medical emergency. It may take hours before symptoms start to develop. Pressure bandage and transport patient to the nearest large medical facility.

 


Dispholidus Typus Boomslang

The venom is dangerously haemotoxic and destroys the coagulant properties of the blood.