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A good initial procedure to take if someone is bitten by a venomous snake. As you should all know, we have venomous snakes here in the US of A. It is a very wise decision to keep a snakebite kit in your gear, if not in your IFAK then at the very least in your pack. (I suggest the Sawyer Venom Extractor as the ones that you get at Wal-Mart are junk. Here are a few links to purchase one) It is also a good idea to purchase a good pair of snake proof boots or gaiters for the warmer months of patrolling your AO.
Where to buy the Sawyer Venom Extractor
How to use the Sawyer Venom Extractor
Unfortunately, in a TEOTWAWKI situation, antivenin is most likely going to be nonexistent, so we will have to do the absolute best that we can for an affected person of snakebite.
Precautions: Always wear protective clothing when hiking the rugged areas of Kansas and never go alone. Wear gloves if possible and don’t stick your hands under rock ledges, logs or stumps. Sturdy, high boots are preferred footwear.
Do your best to watch where you walk. Step onto logs rather than over them before looking and moving on. If you discover a venomous snake, don’t try to catch or harass it. Be familiar with the venomous snakes of your AO. Learn to recognize the harmless snakes that resemble potentially dangerous ones. For example, Northern Water Snakes frequently are mistaken for Copperheads and Cottonmouths. When in doubt, LEAVE IT ALONE!!
If you are bitten by a snake: Was the snake venomous? If you know you have been bitten by a harmless snake, it will save you much stress and eliminate the need for treatment. Many people are bitten by harmless snakes each year and experience nothing but small scratches that readily heal. If you are certain a venomous snake was involved, employ the techniques as listed above.
Additional information if bitten by a venomous snake:
Call for a Medic immediately! (Medic: establish large bore IV access w/ 1000ml 0.9% NaCl solution on an unaffected extremity and be prepared to provide advanced respiratory support [ie. intubation] and also deal with hemodynamic and hypotensive issues)
Stay calm!!! Getting excited is only going to spread any envenomation quicker.
Attempt to splint the affected extremity to minimize muscle movement
Treat for shock. KEEP THE BITE AREA AT THE LEVEL OF THE HEART POSSIBLE. (Neutral Supine Position)
Do not attempt to kill or capture the snake. It gives the snake another opportunity to bite, but if it can be done safely, do attempt to identify the type of snake involved.
Do not use a tourniquet. If tied too tight, it may cause the loss of a limb.
Do not make cuts through or near the site of the bite.
Do not try to suck out venom with your mouth from the site of the bite. You might have a tooth cavity or gum sore and this would place venom into that wound. Use only a snakebite venom extractor.
Do not allow anyone, including a physician, to administer antivenin to you UNLESS you have FIRST been tested to determine whether or not you are allergic to antivenin.
Tylenol (acetaminophen) can be administered for pain if needed
This is something i have first hand experience with!! Its treated in most cases much simpler than described above!! Also on the pics of venomous and non venomous snakes,, those pics are good if your dealing with a member of the pit viper family,, how ever the Coral snake looks just like a nonvenomous snake,, there is also the lie that the Coral has to chew,,here again false!! Those snake bite kits are worthless all of them!! Ive been biten 4 times by pits and once by a Coral!! If you want great info on how to treat snake bite,, Google the guru Maynard Cox!! Maynard treated me at my home over the phone and i never seen a hospital either time,, he is a very good friend of mine!! In most cases snake bite is not fatal if treated correctly!!It is very painful though! There are cases of allergic reactions and deep arterial bites they are very rare though!! Some of the info above is correct except for that snake bite kit!! I will post more on this in a day or 2!! Please be careful what you post in here!! Its is easy to put people at more risk than is necessary!!