If you are unlucky enough to be bitten by a snake, the first thing you need to do is stay calm. The first aid treatment for snakebites can vary depending on the species of snake, so it is essential to know what kind of snake bit you. This blog post will discuss the first aid treatment for snakebites and where in Modbury you will learn how to apply it.
Snakebites: Situation in Australia
According to The Australian Snakebite Project, there were venomous snakes discovered in every Australian state and territory. This means that Modbury is not a 100% snakebite-free city. The project further stated that there are about 3,000 snakebite cases in Australia every year.
What Does a Snakebite Look Like?
Snakebites produce two puncture wounds that are about one-half inch apart. These are deep wounds that may not bleed much and have a small opening in the skin. These may be easily infected, so a first aid treatment for snakebites must be applied immediately.
What are the Snakebite Common Signs and Symptoms?
Snakebites may show different signs and symptoms. It varies depending on the type of snake. The following may be seen around the area of the snakebite:
In addition, snakebites may cause the victim to feel the following side effects:
- Severe pain and tenderness at the site of the bite
Are all Snakebites Deadly?
One thing to keep in mind is that not all snakebites are deadly. This may help you to keep calm and be able to apply the necessary first aid treatment to a snakebite victim. A snakebite that is dry, non-venomous, or venomous, if responded with first aid immediately, may still be treated.
What are dry snakebites?
In a dry snakebite, a venomous snake was unable to produce venom when it bit its victim. But this snakebite is still painful. In addition, it will also be difficult to identify if there is no venom present. Following are the common symptoms of a dry snakebite:
- Swelling and redness around the bite
- Punctured skin
What are non-venomous snakebites?
A non-venomous snakebite is made by a snake that is incapable of secreting venom. Following are the possible complications of a non-venomous snakebite:
- Retained tooth in the puncture wounds
- Wound infections such as tetanus
What are venomous snakebites?
In a venomous snakebite, a poison (toxin) is injected inside a person’s body from a venomous snake. If first aid and/or anti-venom is not provided immediately, the following are its possible effects, according to Health Direct Australia:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swollen tongue
- Swelling of the throat
- Pale skin
- Persistent cough
- Abdominal pain
- Heart attack
What are the venomous and non-venomous snakes in Australia?
Unfortunately, Australia is known to have some of the deadliest snakes in the world. These can kill a human or an animal with just a single snakebite. It will be useful if you are familiar with what these snakes look like so a first aider will know exactly what to do immediately.
Venomous snakes found in Australia
The Australian Museum describes the following venomous snakes as below:
- Brown Snakes
- Light tan to near-black skin colour
- Slender to moderate build
- Smallish head that is barely distinct from the neck
- Smooth and slightly glossy body scale
- Black pupils and orange iris
- Copperhead Snakes
- Uniformly blackish to grey-brown in colour
- Robust and muscular build
- Semi-glossy body scale
- Moderately large eyes with round pupils
- Death Adders
- Triangular-shaped head
- Short stout body
- Thin tail
- Coastal Taipan
- Changing colour, dark in winter and fading in summer
- Medium to large-sized
- Robust build
- Deep, rectangular-shaped head distinct from the slender neck
- Large eyes with intense orange-brown iris and round pupil
- Inland Taipan
- Pale fawn to yellowish-brown to dark brown colour
- The head and neck are many shades darker than the body
- Medium to large-sized
- Robust build
- Large eyes with a very dark iris and round pupil
- Tiger Snakes
- Skin pattern of prominent yellow and black cross-bands, dark olive brown to blackish-brown, or off-white to yellowish
- Moderately wide head
- Slightly distinct from the robust, muscular body
- Semi-glossy scales
Non-venomous snakes in Australia
Some of the non-venomous snakes found in Australia are known to have the following appearances:
- Diamond Python
- Light to dark in colour with yellowish patterns
- Triangular head
- Green tree snake
- Slender body and tail
- Pale yellow belly and green to black-coloured back
- Carpet python
- Slender body
- Dull green to brown in colour
First Aid Treatment for Snakebites
As mentioned above, all types of snakebites give different signs and symptoms. These may lead to severe complications and possibly death.
What to Do After a Snakebite
Following are the very first things you can do if you or someone else experience snakebite:
- Call an ambulance.
- Stay calm and don’t move.
- If the snake is still in the area, leave it alone.
- Apply a pressure immobilisation bandage and splint to the snakebite.
- Don’t wash, suck, cut, or tourniquet the bite.
As you have noticed, step 4 is part of a first aid treatment. If you are lucky, someone in the area may possess a first aid certificate and treat you immediately. If not, you may have to wait for an ambulance.
Importance of a First Aid Course
You can’t always depend on luck, right? What if you were alone when you are bit by a snake? What if your friends or family do not know the first aid steps? It sounds scary, right? It is why enrolling in an accredited first aid course is essential so you know exactly what to do after a snakebite. This will help you reduce the risks of potential danger and even save lives.
Accredited First Aid Course Near Me
If you are located in Modbury, then you are in luck! CPR First Aid Modbury offers first aid courses. These pieces of training will surely help you acquire the skills and knowledge in responding to a snakebite. You may enroll in their:
- HLTAID011 Provide first aid Course
- HLTAID009 Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR Course
- HLTAID012 Provide first aid in an education and care setting
First Aid Treatment to a Snakebite’s Fatal Complication
If you can recall from the above snakebite signs and symptoms, the last on the list is a heart attack. This happens rarely but when it does, it’s fatal. A snakebite victim who has experienced a heart attack may still be recovered if treated with Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR): The First Aid to Heart Attack
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency first aid treatment that is ideally performed by a person who has the HLTAID009 Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR certificate. Performing Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is crucial as it may give a snakebite victim the chance to survive. You may help save the lives of snakebite victims by enrolling in the necessary first aid course.
There are available first aid treatments for snakebites. If you are unsure how to perform these, waiting for an ambulance is your next choice if that would be available. Whether help is accessible or not, it would be really useful if you enrol in a first aid course. Doing so allows you to know exactly what to do in case of a snakebite.