SNAKE BITES PIERCING BLOG

WANT TO KNOW HOW TO TREAT SNAKE BITES PIERCING?

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1 January 2021

(3 minute read)

Snake Bite Piercing – What does it look like?

With the heat of the Australian summer inevitably comes snakes, with many active sightings already reported this season.

Even the most cautious of us may unintentionally tread on a camouflaged snake & its natural defence will be to strike &, of Queensland’s 120 species, around 65% are venomous.

An envenomated snake bite piercing can cause the following symptoms…

  1. Bleeding: Be aware, this might include internal bleeds from wounds.
  2. Paralysis: Difficulty in talking, moving & ultimately breathing.
  3. Pain: After the initial discomfort subsides, the bite may deteriorate over the following days to form an agonising necrotic wound.

The good news is that, while approximately 4000 bites are reported in Australia annually, scarcely 10% require hospitalisation & as few as 2 or 3 cases result in fatality.

Though an immeasurably small percentage of the population is allergic to snakes, instant death is an old wives’ tales with the average time of mortality being closer to 12 hours. Granted the Eastern Brown snake bite piercing has the potential to kill within 30 minutes, but associated complications, such as stress-induced cardiac arrest, may dispatch you sooner if you don’t remain calm & have an action plan.

So why don’t snakes, such as the Inland Taipan, whose venom is potent enough to cause paralysis & the hemorrhaging of blood vessels, have the ability to finish us instantly?

Because many instances are ‘dry-bites’ where the snake bite piercing has not injected venom into the wound, or, where the bite is envenomated, the venom is driven into your tissue – NOT your blood stream.

All snake venom is made of proteins which only enter the blood via a lymph node &, unlike your circulatory system which is pumped by your heart, lymph fluid requires the physical exertion of your body to be transported about the lymphatic system: In short, if you remain still venom can’t move from the lymph fluid in your tissues to your blood stream.

Utilise Pressure Immobilisation Bandaging to retard the movement of venom from the bite site to the blood stream…

  1. Call 000 immediately (or 112 from your mobile phone)!
  2. Lay patient down and keep them still.
  3. Roll a length of bandage over the site of the bite. Apply a broad (10-15cm wide) pressure bandage as firm as for a sprained ankle, starting at the fingers or toes of the bitten limb, continuing upward, covering as much of the limb as possible.
  4. The bandage needs to be firm, but not so tight as to cause the extremities to turn purple – DO NOT use a tourniquet!
  5. Splint the affected limb so it remains immobile.

NOTE:

  • DO NOT clean the area.
  • DO NOT cut the area in an attempt to release the venom.
  • DO NOT ever attempt to suck venom from the wound.
  • DO NOT try to catch or kill the snake – this could easily result in additional wounds &/or further casualties.

Medical centres no longer need to identify whether a snake is an Adder, a Black, a Brown, a Tiger or a Taipan.

While regional differences require specific territory antivenins, an envenomated snake bite piercing victim now needs only one injection no matter the genus since the venom antiserum is a polyvalent; that is to say, a one-shot catch-all injection which binds to & neutralises the venoms of all five serpent genera. Not only is the polyvalent able to save more lives but hospitals are able to stock more of them since they no longer need to hold a supply of each genus’s variety of antiserum.

Since the advent of the polyvalent antivenin, new advances in the management of snake bite piercing are less common however, like all First Aid Training, it should be refreshed every 3 years.

Schedule a Booking Now!

To stay informed of any new developments and updates in First Aid, CPR, and other related fields or industries, we invite you to subscribe to our monthly newsletters. Click this link, complete the form and subscribe.

We’ve included a link to our Free First Aid Charts, where you can download our First aid chart for free here.  Our First Aid & CPR Charts can be printed off or shared with your friends.

If you are also interested in attending our First Aid Course to learn more about snake bites piercing, you can see our upcoming dates here – Booking Calendar.  All of our First Aid and CPR Courses are delivered in accordance with the Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) Guidelines.

For more information on available CPR Courses or First Aid Courses on offer, please call 1300 707 677 or visit our website www.atraining.com.au.

See the references below for further reading…

Chippaux, JP (1998). “Snake-bites: appraisal of the global situation”. Bull. World Health Organ. 76: 515–24. PMC 2305789. PMID 9868843.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2017-11-26/youve-just-been-bitten-by-a-snake-%E2%80%94-what-do-you-do/9176728

https://www.livescience.com/34443-deadliest-snakes-most-venomous-snakes.html

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_snake_bites_in_Australia

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/snake-bites

https://www.resus.org.au

FREE FIRST AID CHART

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UNIT(S) BEING DELIVERED

The following unit(s) will be awarded to successful participants in this course. The certificate will be issued by Allens Training Pty Ltd RTO 90909.

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  • HLTAID009 – Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation

To view full unit details please visit training.gov.au

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Training and assessment delivered on behalf of Allens Training Pty Ltd RTO 90909

Please click this link to view the Allens Training Pty Ltd Student Handbook for this course.

A Training can also be found on the firstaidtraining.com.au website.

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