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Posted by Carl Franklin on July 02, 2002 at 08:55:27:
In Reply to: Call me...(more) posted by Chris McMartin on July 01, 2002 at 18:42:11:
While not cutting and sucking a venomous bite is correct, applying ANY ice to a venomous bite is not only unnecessary but can seriously complicate the situation by slowing down the circulation to the area.
If any suction is to be applied then it is best performed via Sawyer Extractor. Rings and any other jewlery should be immediately removed and the limb splinted.
DO NOT allow any emergency room personel to place the bitten limb in any ice or cold solution. This has happened before with devastating effects and is not part of any proper venomous reptile safety protocol. One bite victim in Arlington, Texas and another in Duncanville Texas were both bitten by a copperhead. In both instances the victims were left waiting for 2-3 hours with the bitten area under ice. This helped bring about tissue loss and eventually gangrene. Not to mention a 2-3 week hospital stay (one victim was a little girl and the other an old man)
Pressure bandages could be applied, but are largely unneeded. Also there is the risk of someone not familiar with a snake bite drill (practice)applying them too tightly.
Keep the victim calm, remove watches,rings, and other jewlery and drive to the hospital. A call to the emergency room could help matters more.
These are merely the basic steps towards the first aid of a venomous snake bite for all venomus snakes in Texas (with the exception of the coral snake).
Over all, lightning, horses, bees, and dogs are each responsible for more human deaths than snake bites. I believe that snake bite deaths in Texas average at 2 per year. And most of these involve men ages 18-27, tattoos, and alcohol.
The aforemenioned "first aid" steps are widely used by a number of zoos and universities. There is also the chance that a defensive bite may contain little or no venom.
Carl's Creepy Crawlies