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Snake bite!!!

18-01-2015

Emergency Contact for Swakopmund Paramedics: 081 348 9052

Snake Envenomation

1. Calm the patient and yourself down

2. Keep patient as still as possible. (Infants keep still in parents arms better)

3. Expose the wound and wipe away any excess venom using water.

4. Dress the wound with dry sterile dressings.

5. Remove all rings, bracelets etc. from the affected limb.

6. Avoid squeezing the wound or area.

7. Apply a wound dressing.

8. If not an Adder nor Zebra Snake, apply a bandage and extend this from the bite site toward the heart over the entire limb. The application must be firm but not tight. Leave fingers exposed for assessment of perfusion.

9. NEVER apply limb bandaging to cytotoxic snakebites, (Stiletto, Zebra, Puff Adder)

10. The affected limb must now be immobilized in a splint in a neutral position below the level of the heart for transportation.

11. Venom in Eyes: Copious amounts of flushing with water for 15 to 20 min. DO NOT RUB!

12. IF POSSIBLE WITHOUT ENDANGERING ONESELF TAKE A PICTURE OF THE SNAKE OR COLLECT OR KILL THE SNAKE RESPONSIBLE FOR IDENTIFICATION PURPOSES.

13. Note the following:

a. site of bite

b. Fang marks or graze?

c. Note time and level time since bite, best done using a permanent marker and writing on the patients skin (Loose papers get lost).

d. First aid applied.

14. Inform the Ambulance service or hospital you are going to and how long before you get there.

15. Look for the following if Zebra snake is suspected.

a. Pain and swelling

b. Blistering

c. Bruising

d. Tissue necrosis, days later (Death of tissues around bite area)

e. Hypotension (Feels woozy sitting up)

f. Slow or fast heartbeat.

g. Spontaneous bleeding

h. Decreased urine output or dark discolored urine

16. Treat all snake bites as serious until proven otherwise by medical practitioners.

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