First aid if bitten
by a venomous snake:
Do not wash the wound site.
Place an elastic bandage over the
wound site and bandage as far down the limb as possible, then back
up the limb as far as possible.
Call 000 for an ambulance
Keep the patient as
quiet as possible. This can be hard, but remember stress and fear will
be the most visible signs in most cases of snake bite and should be
Call an ambulance
and get to a hospital immediately.
Do not ask the patient to walk to
a vehicle for transport, bring the vehicle to the patient, the less
movement on the part of the patient, the better.
Identification of the snake is not
necessary, so do not attempt to capture or kill the snake to take
to the hospital, most hospital staff cannot positively identify a
Serum Laboratories have produced a snakebite detection kit, which
has been issued to all major hospitals through out Australia. This
kit enables the hospital staff to safely take a swab from the wound
site and after testing they are able to tell which anti-venom is the
correct one to use. If the test is inconclusive, then a polyvalent
serum may be administered.
I feel very sorry
for our venomous snakes, most of us are frightened of them, and in
many cases the snake suffer due to our fear. They are not interested
in attacking us; they will usually try as hard as they can to get
If you find a snake inside, if possible
leave it an avenue of escape, close the room of if you can, and leave
doors and windows open so the snake can leave when it no longer feels
When walking outside at night or in the bush wear suitable footwear.
Do not use pressure-immobilisation first aid for:
spider bites other than from a funnel web spider
jelly fish stings
stonefish and other fish stings
bee, wasp and ant stings in non-allergic individuals
bites by scorpions, centipedes, beetles