Each year thousands of people who live in areas with a large concentration of snakes, visit camp sites, wilderness areas, picnic areas, or hike are bitten by snakes. Snake bites even those from a seemingly harmless non venomous snake can cause allergies and infection, so imagine the danger associated with poisonous snake bites.
Four types of snakes in the USA are considered to be dangerous because of their venom: copper head, rattle snake, coral snake, and cottonmouth water snake.
People are individual, there will some variation in the effects of venomous snake bites from person to person. However, the signs you should look for if you suspect that you have been the victim of poisonous snake bites are:
Fang marks in the wound
A fluid mixed with blood seeping out from it
A burning sensation and pain emanating from the affected area
Rapid heat beat
Being excessively thirsty
Impaired motor ability
You must get treatment immediately if you have been bitten by a venomous snake. Time is of the essence, the longer you wait the more serious the snake bites become.
There are still things that can and should be done while you are waiting for the ambulance to come.
Stay calm and immobile
Make sure the site of the wound is never raised above the heart, in other words to not raise your arms if the bite was on the arm etc.
You will need to thoroughly wash the wound with soap and water.
You will need to apply a salve or cool compress to sooth the snake bites, and keep down swelling.
Cover the area
Keep a close eye on vital signs.
Sometimes victims of snake bites are so far away from help, they cannot be medically treated within a half hour of the snake bites. If this is the situation, the American Red Cross recommends that the following actions be taken:
To slow the continually release of venom within the wound site, it is important that you apply a loosely fitting bandage (loose enough to slip a finger through) about four inches above the site. In turn the bandages will not be too tight, resulting in the interruption of blood flow.
You should have a snake bite kit that is sold in retail or wilderness stores. Within that kit is a device to suck up the venom from the bite. Never, cut the skin around the bite wound as it could cause even more infection.
Once seen by a doctor, the most common treatment is an anti venom product derived from the blood serum of a horse.
A few simply steps will minimize your chances of being bitten by a poisonous snake. First of all, stay away from the areas they inhabit wherever possible. Wear high boots to avoid stepping on them. Do not pick up rocks or other things from the ground without vigilantly checking the area first. Stay away from tall grass or areas where it would be difficult to see the snakes. Never, provoke a snake or try to kill it by hitting it with sticks you will be increasing your chances of getting bit.