Neurospine Hospital & Revive Critical Care

Opening Time

24 Hours

For Appointments

0712-2995761, 2995762, 9021721336

POISONING / SNAKE BITE

Snakes bite either to capture prey or for self-defense. But since there are so many different types of snakes — including both venomous and non-venomous — not every snake bite is created equal.
Different species carry different types of venom. The major categories include:

Cytotoxins: Cause swelling and tissue damage wherever you’ve been bitten.
Haemorrhagins: Disrupt the blood vessels.
Anti-clotting agents: Prevent the blood from clotting.
Neurotoxins: Cause paralysis or other damage to the nervous system.
Myotoxins: Break down muscles.

Symptoms

Signs or symptoms of a snake bite may vary depending on the type of snake, but may include:

  • Puncture marks at the wound
  • Redness, swelling, bruising, bleeding, or blistering around the bite
  • Severe pain and tenderness at the site of the bite
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Rapid heart rate, weak pulse, low blood pressure
  • Disturbed vision
  • Metallic, mint, or rubber taste in the mouth
  • Increased salivation and sweating
  • Numbness or tingling around face and/or limbs

First Aid

Workers should take these steps if a snake bites them:

  • Antivenom is the treatment for serious snake envenomation. The sooner antivenom can be started, the sooner irreversible damage from venom can be stopped.
  • Driving oneself to the hospital is not advised because people with snakebites can become dizzy or pass out.
  • Take a photograph of the snake from a safe distance if possible. Identifying the snake can help with treatment of the snakebite.
  • Keep calm.
  • Inform your supervisor.
  • Apply first aid while waiting for EMS staff to get you to the hospital.
  • Lay or sit down with the bite in a neutral position of comfort.
  • Remove rings and watches before swelling starts.
  • Wash the bite with soap and water.
  • Cover the bite with a clean, dry dressing.
  • Mark the leading edge of tenderness/swelling on the skin and write the time alongside it.

What is the Treatment for Poisonous Snake Bites?

Antivenoms remain the only specific treatment that can potentially prevent or reverse most of the effects of snakebite envenoming when administered early in an adequate therapeutic dose. They are included in WHO’s Model List of Essential Medicines.

Keep the area of the bite below the heart in order to slow the spread of venom through the bloodstream.

Remain still and calm. If you can, roll over to your side and rest in the recovery position. Moving around a lot will cause the venom to spread faster through the body.

Cover the bite with a clean, dry bandage. Try to use a pressure immobilization bandage if you can. This type of bandage should be tightly wrapped around the bite. Then, wrap another bandage around the entire limb, so that it’s immobilized.

Diagnosis of Snakebites

Hospitalization for observation for bites with envenomation Emergency medical personnel must try to determine whether the snake was venomous, what species it was, and whether venom was injected.

The bite marks sometimes suggest whether the snake was venomous. The fangs of a venomous snake usually produce one or two large punctures, whereas the teeth of nonvenomous snakes usually leave multiple small rows of scratches.

Envenomation is recognized by the development of characteristic symptoms. People who are bitten by a venomous snake are generally kept in the hospital for observation for 6 to 8 hours to see if any symptoms develop.

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