EHS Alert - Snake Bite

Snake Bite

There are nearly 2700 species of snakes in the world out of which 272 species are in India.  In that, 58 species are poisonous. Most of the snakes are not poisonous; this EHS alert provides some guidelines regarding the measures to be taken before and immediately after the snake bite. Most of the snakebite deaths are due to fear.

Everything you have seen in the movies,
such as sucking the venomous out of the wound, cutting it out with a knife etc.is COMPLETELY wrong.
You would only increase the damage which is already done. The ONLY things that really work are the following:Signs & symptoms:

v  Bloody wound discharge
v  Fang marks in the skin & swelling at the site of bite
v  Severe localized pain
v  Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting
v  Convulsions, fainting dizziness weakness
v  Blurred vision
v  Fever increased thirst
v  Loss of muscle coordination, numbness and tingling
Rapid pulse
Snake bite prevention:

v  Avoid stepping out in the dark, especially during the monsoons, without a torch and boots / leather ankle shoes.
v  When moving through tall grass or weeds, poke at the ground in front of you with a long stick to scare away snakes
v  Check your shoes for snakes/insects before putting your feet inside
v  Pathways should be well lit, avoid paving with loose tiles
v  Snakes love dark and cool places !! Eliminate such areas at work spot.
v  After any construction work, remove all the rubbles immediately. It gives shelter to snakes
v  There should not be any vegetation (small trees, creeper) touching on the wall of the ouse, which can help snake to climb to windows and any ventilators
v  Disinfectants with pungent smells like phenyl may be regularly used in toilets and the drains. Snakes avoid unpleasent smell.

First Aid : Do it R.I.G.H.T

v  Reassure the victim,
v  Immobilize the bitten limb without compression
v  Get the victim to the Hospital as soon as safely possible
v  Tell the doctor signs appearing on the way to the hospital

DO’S

v  Remove yourself or victim from risk of second bite.
v  Take note of the snake's physical appearance (colour and shape). It is important to describe the snake to hospital staff so the proper anti-venom can be administered.
v  Wash the bite with running water as soon as possible in which maximum poison is washed away.
v  Take off the jewelry or tight clothing near the bite quickly, before swelling starts.
v  Calm the patient. Immobilize the bitten arm or leg, and stay as quiet as possible to keep the poison from spreading through your body.
v  Keep the bitten area below the heart to slow down the flow of the venom
v  Apply a splint to reduce movement of the affected area, but keep it loose enough so as not to restrict blood flow.
v  Monitor the victim's blood pressure, temperature, breathing rate and pulse, to the best of your ability.

DON’TS

v  Do NOT Panic : Remember that most bites, even from poisonous snakes are non-fatal. Panic can increase the danger to the victim by including rapid heart beat.
v  Do NOT Excite the victim or even allow the victim to walk if it can be avoided. Doing so will increase the blood circulation speeding the spread of venom beyond the area of bite.
v  Do NOT Cut the wound or attempt to remove the venom by mouth sucking.
v  Do NOT Use a tourniquet or apply ice.
v  Do NOT Drink caffeine or alcohol.
v  Do NOT Try to capture the snake, but try to remember its color and shape so you can describe it, which will help in your treatment.
v  Do NOT Raise the site of the bite above the level of the person's heart.
v  Do NOT Give the victim any medications unless directed by a doctor.
v  Never handle a snake, even if you think it is dead. Recently killed snakes may still bite by reflex.
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