How to Treat a Snake Bite

How to Treat a Snake Bite
Responding to a snake bite appropriately is critical. If medical care is easily accessible, call 911 immediately. Remember if calling from a cell phone, dialing for help will be different by geographic location. Be prepared. Know what your area's emergency help number is for cell phone use. If in a remote area, getting the victim to medical care will be your ultimate objective.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Call 911 immediately. If using a cell phone from a remote location, stay calm and do your best to give your exact location.
Step 2
If available, wash the area with warm water and soap.
Step 3
The area around the site may swell. Clothing or jewelry that would restrict this from happening should be removed.
Step 4
Some snake bite kits have venom suction cups. Placing the cup over the wound can extract roughly 30 percent of the venom. Do not cut or attempt to suck the venom from the wound. This will open the possibility of infection.
Step 5
Keep the limb at or below heart level. Do not elevate the bitten limb.
Step 6
If medical help is more than 30 minutes away, a bandage or strip of fabric (clothing) can be wrapped 2 to 4 inches above the wound. You are not creating a tourniquet, but wrapping the site loose enough to slide a finger underneath the bandage. The purpose is to not cut off the blood flow through veins or arteries, but to slow the venom.

Article Written By Michelle Vermillion Lawre

Michelle Vermillion Lawrence has worked as a therapist helping children, adolescents and families in individual, group and support therapy. Since 2001 she has shared her experience and knowledge writing for various online publications. Lawrence holds a Master of Arts degree in counseling psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology.

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