Typically, snakes and many other creatures that represent our phobias do not seek a human to bite – they do it for the sake of self-defense. Anyone would also try to defend themselves in a sudden meeting with a giant if they had a weapon in their hands. Anyways, serpents do pose a threat to us, especially in the summer. Therefore, you need to know what to do even if you got bitten by a limbless monster.
What are the symptoms of a snakebite?
Most snakes that you find are not venomous. Nonetheless, statistics show that approximately 8,000 people are bitten by poisonous serpents only in the U.S. each year. Although these bites are rarely fatal, the venom can cause serious damage to your health. You may experience symptoms including:
- a typical “snake teeth” mark at the wound;
- redness and swelling around the wound;
- severe pain;
- possible nausea and vomiting;
- troubled breathing (respiratory arrest is possible);
- troubles with vision;
- heavy sweating and salivation;
- numbness in the face or extremities.
What to do in case of a snakebite?
If you happened to be bitten by a snake, the first thing you need to do is to call 911 and keep calm. It is extremely important for you not to wait before your symptoms occur, as it may take 10 hours before the serious ones set in.
Timely treatment can save your life. Moreover, you have to know a few rules:
- Keep yourself motionless, as movement helps the venom to spread.
- Keep the bitten body part lower than your heart.
- Try to remember the snake’s appearance, to get the correct antidote.
- Remember the time of the bite.
- Don’t try to find and capture the snake.
- Sucking out venom doesn’t work. It’s a myth.
How to prevent a snakebite?
Surely, there are cases where snakes come out of the blue and bite people, but these are extremely rare. What happens much often is a person simply doesn’t pay attention to where they walk.
It is the very first rule in preventing snakebites. There are also some other things you should know:
- Avoid alcohol, as it lowers your attentiveness and can make you behave irrationally.
- Carry a walking stick or cane. You can tap the ground in front of you, thus making your stick a possible victim and not your leg.
- Boots and long pants are must have if you are interested in protection.
- A headlamp, flashlight, or any other source of light is necessary to prevent surprise encounters at night.
If you got bitten by a non-venomous snake (and you are sure about it), simply wash out the bite with soap and clean warm water. Be prepared though, as most non-venomous snakes have anti-coagulant in their saliva, which can make you bleed more than necessary.
Take care and stay safe!
This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.