Healthdirect, Australia’s virtual health information service, considers any snake bite as an emergency. It suggests preparing for CPR, following DRSABCD, applying a pressure immobilisation bandage, and injecting adrenaline as a first aid response. So, if an Australian Copperhead Snake bites you, get ready with any of these treatments. First aid skills and a kit available may help you perform them immediately. So, read further to learn how you may achieve this by equipping yourself with the right knowledge and tools.
What is the First Aid to the Bite of an Australian Copperhead Snake?
Healthdirect suggests doing the following first aid responses to any snake bites.
Prepare to do CPR on a casualty who experienced a bite from any specie such as the Australian Copperhead Snake. Healthdirect’s website has tutorial videos on how to do it for babies, children, and adults. A free online course is also available on the website of CPR First Aid (RTO NO 21903). The same approved provider offers in-person training in its multiple centres throughout Australia.
The following DRS ABCD is one of the basic first-aid responses to an Australian Copperhead Snakebite.
- Danger – ensure that the casualty and everyone else are safe from any risk
- Response – check if the casualty is able to respond by asking their name or squeezing their shoulder
- Send for help – call 000 if there is no response
- Airway – check if there is something that is blocking the casualty’s mouth and throat
- Breathing – check if the casualty is breathing normally
- CPR – start performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation if a casualty is not breathing normally
- Defibrillation – use an automated external defibrillator to help with the CPR if there is one available
First aid training helps you perform all of the above steps correctly in real-life scenarios.
Apply a Pressure Immobilisation Bandage
This first aid treatment involves the following steps.
- Put a bandage over the bite
- Use a heavy crepe to immobilise the whole limb
- Splint the limb on either side of the bite, including the joints
- Mark the site bite
- Keep the casualty at rest while waiting for an ambulance
A pressure immobilisation bandage is available as an individual product in pharmacies or as part of a snake bite first aid kit.
In some cases, people have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to snake bites and it starts with the following symptoms.
- Difficulty or noisy breathing
- Hoarse voice
- Tongue becomes swollen
- Casualty experiences dizziness or collapses
- If the casualty is a child, they may experience paleness
- Wheezing or there is a persistent cough
The anaphylaxis and ASCIA allergy action plans for this may include adrenaline injection. Further information about this response is available on first aid training for anaphylaxis.
Where do You Learn the First Aid to the Snake Bite of an Australian Copperhead?
Online tutorials and courses may help you learn the basics of the above-mentioned first-aid responses. Pieces of first aid training are also available at Level 9 Suite 904, 343 Little Collins St Melbourne CBD. It has a licensed instructor, first aid kit, manikins, and certificate if you need it for work compliance. Many students find onsite courses fun, educational, and memorable because of the opportunity to engage with others and ask further questions.
Are there Many Australian Copperhead Snakes?
Australian Geographic, a team of journalists, photographers, and editors, has a fact file about Copperhead Snakes on its website. It states that there are three species of copperhead snakes in Australia. All of them have a muscley, strong body form with a colour of blackish to grey, and brown scales. There are many of them in areas where there is a cool and cold climate.
Where in Australia Do You Find the Species of Copperhead Snakes?
Australian Museum, a hub of information, resources, and research, provides an interactive map of Copperhead Snakes in the country. Its maps show that the three species live in the following areas.
- Mount Lofty Ranges east of Adelaide
- Kangaroo Island
- Highlands of New South Wales
- Eastern Victoria
- Lowland areas of southeastern South Australia
- Southern Victoria
- Islands of Bass Strait
It further includes the areas of Flinders, King, Hunter, Preservation, and the Great Dog Islands.
Is the Australian Copperhead Snake Dangerous?
The Australian Museum explains that the bite of any adult species may cause death if there is no medical assistance. It’s secretive and prefers human encounters, but will lash out and bite if you provoke it.
To identify what first aid treatment you need to do for an Australian Copperhead Snake, perform DRSABCD first. It will help you determine if a casualty needs CPR or an adrenaline injection. It is also good to apply a pressure immobilisation bandage since it’s the general first aid response for snake bites. A first aid training that is held online or onsite may help you learn to do all of these correctly in times of need. Especially since the bite of the adult species may cause death and they live in many parts of Australia.