What to do after a snakebite

Getting bitten by a snake can be a frightening and potentially dangerous experience.

However, knowing the right steps to take immediately after a bite can significantly improve the chances of a full recovery.

Here are things you need to do if you or someone else is bitten by a snake:

Panic can exacerbate the situation, causing an increased heart rate that may speed up the spread of venom. Stay as calm as possible and seek medical care immediately.

If possible, try to remember the colour, shape, and size of the snake. This information can help medical professionals determine the appropriate treatment, as different snakes have different types of venom.

As swelling may occur, it’s important to remove any tight clothing, rings, or other constrictive items near the bite site. This can help prevent further complications and discomfort.

Gently wash the bite area with soap and water to reduce the risk of infection. Do not apply ice, cut the wound, or use a tourniquet, as these actions can worsen the situation.

Keeping the bite area at or slightly below heart level can help slow the spread of venom. Avoid elevating the bite above heart level, as this can increase the flow of venom to vital organs.

Refrain from using home remedies or folk treatments, such as applying suction devices, using electric shocks, or consuming alcohol. These methods are not effective and can be harmful.

If emergency services are not immediately available, transport the victim to the nearest medical facility as quickly and safely as possible. Keep the victim calm and still during transportation.

While knowing what to do after a snake bite is crucial, preventing bites in the first place is equally important.

Some preventive measures include avoiding snake-prone areas, wearing protective clothing, being cautious and keeping snakes away from your environment.