What to do and not to do after a snakebite

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You came to the forest to pick mushrooms or berries and something happened that is sometimes scary to think about – you were bitten by a snake. Oddly enough, the first thing to do is to calm down – the heart rate only contributes to the spread of the poison throughout the body.

On the territory of Russia there are about 90 species of snakes, some of them are really dangerous, but there are very few deaths from snake bites. According to data center of hygienic education of the population, only 0.3% of bite cases have the worst ending. In other words, out of about 333 people bitten by a snake, one will die.


If you deliberately go into the forest, do not forget to bring a first aid kit. It must contain medications that you take on an ongoing basis, first aid for injuries. If you go to a place known to have snakes, make sure to buy an antihistamine and charge your phone so you can call for help if needed. Wear tight clothing and high shoes.

Chronology actions for any snake bite:

  • After the bite, you must move to a safe distance and sit, leaning against a tree;
  • You need to remove everything that can serve as a tourniquet: bracelets, rings, watches, loosen the lacing on your shoes. The tourniquet will not save you from the spread of poison throughout the body, but, on the contrary, will cause the limb at the site of the bite to swell. The saddest consequence of the tourniquet is amputation;
  • You need to circle the bite site and write the time when you put the mark right on the skin (if you have a pen or felt-tip pen). This procedure must be repeated every 30 minutes. By the rapidity of the increase in swelling, doctors will be able to understand which particular snake has bitten you. Also, monitor and, if possible, write down or memorize the symptoms that appear and when they appear. This will also help doctors identify the snake and give you the right antidote;
  • If you have a first aid kit with you, take a first generation antihistamine, such as Diphenhydramine or Tavegil. If you have nothing with you, try to immobilize the limb and get out of the forest as soon as possible;
  • Call 112 and try to get out to civilization.

What not to do:

  • apply a tourniquet;
  • cut;
  • suck out the poison;
  • cauterize;
  • apply ice;
  • take pain relievers (they disrupt blood clotting, which can lead to internal bleeding).

Knowing these simple rules and composure will help you avoid unpleasant consequences from meeting a snake.



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