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Snake-bite first aid protocol INDIA

Snake-bite first aid protocol INDIA

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Published by Soham Mukherjee
Snake-bite first aid protocol for Indian snakes. This is most updated and approved by Rom Whitaker (herpetologist) and Dr. David A. Warrell (world authority on snake-bite treatment). Please pass it around as much as you can!
Snake-bite first aid protocol for Indian snakes. This is most updated and approved by Rom Whitaker (herpetologist) and Dr. David A. Warrell (world authority on snake-bite treatment). Please pass it around as much as you can!

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Published by: Soham Mukherjee on Mar 14, 2012
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05/13/2014

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Snake-bite management
 
! First aid
It is important to remember that snakes don’t bite out of whim. They are usually forcedto bite. The good news is that venom has evolved as a mechanism to subdue prey andsnakes need to conserve their venom for that purpose. Most snake-bites happen whenthe snake is accidentally provoked. In some cases (getting more frequent these days),the victim has simply asked for it.If you find yourself in a snake-bite situation, simple protocol and presence of mind couldend up saving the victim’s limb or even life.Firstly,
Things NOT to Do:
 Suck out venomMake incision to bleed out venomGo to traditional healers or anything similarTry out home remediesApply tourniquetsApply iceClean out the bitten partTry and catch/kill the snakeAll of the above activities either
do not work 
or are
extremely dangerous
toperform. In fact, they will do more harm than good.
 
Following is what you can and should do:
 + Make sure the victim and others are at a safe distance away from the snake; do notattempt to capture the snake, get the victim and others away from the snake+ Try to memorize the snake’s appearance (from a safe distance!)+ Remove watches / rings / other jewelry from the bitten part+ Keep the victim calm and reassured, do not panic, as trivial as it may sound, it makeseverything from the victim's ability to deal with the situation to your ability to makedecisions better+ Try to immobilize the bitten limb; do not make the victim run and avoid makinghim/her walk if possible+ In case of neurotoxic bites (All elapids and hydrophiids: Cobras, King cobras, kraits,coral snakes and sea snakes), pressure immobilization (Sutherland method) (figure 1)with long crepe or other stretchy bandage (5 - 10 cm wide, several rolls) and splint tobe applied immediately to the bitten limb, starting at the digits and working up to thegroin or arm pit.+ Do not waste any time and arrange for a quick transport to the nearest hospitaltreating snake-bite cases, as safely and comfortably as possible+ If possible, note the time of bite and progression of symptoms+ Describe the snake and the whole incident to the attending doctor
*Anti Snake Venom Serum is the only cure*
 If your neighborhood has a high density of snakes, it is advisable to prepare a snake-biteprotocol (plan of action in case of an emergency) best suited to you. This can simply beimportant contact people and numbers who should be informed first, name / address of nearest hospital treating snake-bites, best mode of transport and related details, name /contact no. of doctor, etc. Make sure all family members understand their role in anemergency.
 
Figure 1: Pressure immobilization (Sutherland method) – courtesy Dr. David A. Warrell 
Spectacled Common krait Russell’s viper Saw-scaled viper cobra
The above 4 snake species account for most snake-bite deaths in India, please be extracareful if you are around these.

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