Snake bite: Seven immediate actions you need to take

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Snake bite: Seven immediate actions you need to take  12th February 2022


No matter how prepared you are or how well planned your life is, there is always something that catches you by surprise. You could be out on a trek, visiting a wildlife sanctuary, or just simply walking in your garden when you spot a snake, and while your first instinct may be to run, it is said that snakes do not attack unless they feel threatened.

So staying calm and avoiding movement might be the best option you have. However, if you find yourself in a situation involving a snake bite, these are the few things that you could follow to ensure your or the victim's safety.

1. Staying calm:
This might seem like a banal comment during emergencies, but staying calm ensures that your heart is not pumping blood vigorously. Panicking leads to faster circulation, which means it will spread the venom.

2. Restrict movement:
This step is crucial, as the passage of the venom is not directly associated with blood flow. The venom flows through your lymph, which only moves when you do. So any calls that you need to make for the ambulance should be done by somebody else.

3. Pressure immobilization:
Bandage firmly, 'above' the area of the bite. Use a piece of cloth if a bandage is not available. Roll it around the lymph till whatever place it can reach. Now splint the affected area to keep it still. Use any stick, rolled-up layers of paper, etc., to support.

4. Do not wash the wound:
Washing the area gets rid of the venom that the doctors can use to identify the species of snake. Therefore, it is advised to leave the affected area as-is for the benefit of the doctors.

5. Rush to the nearest hospital:
The only remedy to a venomous snake bite is to get an anti-venom as soon as possible. Rush to the nearest medical facility to ensure that timely medication is provided before the patient's condition turns critical.

6. Keep the victim warm:
It is crucial to keep the patient warm and calm to keep their blood pressure under control. However, no caffeine or alcohol should be given. In addition, any food or beverage, including water, should not be provided since it will slow their metabolism.

7. No ice packs and self-medication:
Research shows that using an ice pack on snake bites is harmful and can add to your problems. Avoid the inspection and cleaning of the wound, and avoid using medicines that you might use for regular cuts and wounds. Don't take any action without proper knowledge. The hospital staff are trained to attend to the wound, the venom, and the medication for every circumstance.

Sticking to the steps mentioned above will buy the patient some time before the anti-venom can be injected. As mentioned, a snake bite can create a sense of panic and fear, but maintaining your calm and taking the first aid measures ensures that you have sufficient time before reaching the doctor or medical facility.

Life is full of surprises, some good and some bad. Being prepared always helps, which is why you should invest in good health insurance. With a plethora of options available in the market, you can sit back and not worry about the unnecessary expenses you might face in case of such emergencies.

Click HERE to find out more about health insurance plans that you can invest in.

Disclaimer: The information provided above is for illustrative purposes only. To get more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before purchasing a policy.