Whether you are simply hiking through the woods or stranded in the wilderness, you must know how to treat a snake bite in an emergency. Snakes are a real danger to your survival. In the United States alone, nearly 8,000 people get bit by poisonous snakes each year. Even the snakes considered to be generally safe can cause allergic reactions in some individuals.
Rattlesnakes, coral snakes, cottonmouth water moccasin, and copperhead snakes are all capable of causing poisonous bites. The symptoms of poisonous snake bites vary from person to person, but swelling at the bite site, severe localized pain, and burning is common. Other symptoms include dizziness, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, numbness, and convulsions.
Of course, contacting EMS for help after a snake bite is the ideal action plan, but when you are out in the wilderness, this isn’t always an option. You can do some things until you get proper medical attention to treat the snake bite.
Wash the wound with soap and water if possible. It is a good idea to immobilize the snake bite area as much as possible, just as you would splint a broken limb. Hold the limb lower than the heart. Apply a bandage above the bite by 2 to 4 inches. The band should be loose enough to slide a finger underneath it. The idea is to slow the venom from reaching the heart without cutting off the circulation completely to the area.
If you have a snake bite survival kit available to you, use it. The suction device will remove some of the venoms from the bite, but not much, and it needs to be applied immediately after the bite. If this is not available, DO NOT cut the area of the snake bite open and use your mouth to suck out the venom. This is a waste of time and will only worsen the wound.
Ultimately, you will need anti-venom. If you know you will be travelling in a snake-prone area, keeping a snake bite survival kit with you whenever you are in remote locations in the wilderness is always a good idea.
Of course, the best way to know how to treat snake bites is by avoiding snakes altogether.
Be cautious of snakes if you are gathering firewood or hunting shelter in caves. These animals can strike quickly, and often people are surprised to learn how far a snake can strike. The best advice is to turn away from any snake if possible.
Knowing what to do during a snake bite emergency can make survival possible. Always be prepared for the unexpected.
Wear sturdy shoes and long pants to prevent a snake bite when travelling in the woods. Also, be extremely careful when gathering firewood. Snakes like to hide beneath logs for shelter.
Avoiding snakes is the best prevention of a snake bite. Appropriate clothing is another way to prevent a terrible bite from a poisonous snake. If a snake bite occurs, grab the snake bite survival kit in your gear to treat it immediately. Get medical attention as soon as possible.
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