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Snake bites are nothing to joke about. They are scary and painful. They can also be fatal if left untreated; therefore you need to act fast.
The first and most important step is to call an ambulance so they can treat the bite, so:
- STEP 1: Call 000 or 112 from your mobile for an ambulance, rest the patient and avoid unnecessary movement
- STEP 2: Place a wound dressing over the bite. Do not wash the venom off the skin, so it can later be used for identification
- STEP 3: Apply a a pressure bandage (Heavy Crepe Bandage) firmly over the bite. Alternatively use crepe bandages clothing or similar material. If bitten on the torso apply direct pressure with padded material
- STEP 4: Apply further pressure bandages on the bitten limb, starting at the fingers or toes and extending upward to cover as much of the limb as possible. Mark the location of the bite on the bandage with a pen
- STEP 5: Immobilise the bitten limb with splints or an arm sling. Reassure the patient and keep them still until the ambulance arrives
Remember, a big part of attending a wound is to keep calm and to encourage the patient to the same.
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