First of all, there is always a chance that snakebite is venomous or will get infected and you can die from it. Ideally, most snakes are not poisonous and a person bitten stands a high chance of survival.
What About Poisonous Snakes?
Most poisonous snakes would not kill a human being. Some particularly dangerous snakes, such as the African black mamba, the king cobra and some Australian species kill the vast majority of people who live far from medical facilities, and fail to receive timely medical treatment. However, most poisonous snakes are not in this category of “particularly dangerous snakes”.
While few people in the United States die from snakebite each year, the vast majority of people who are bitten survive. It may be surprising to note that they survive even without treatment. While most bites are painful, they rarely pose a serious threat to human life.
Some professional snake handlers would purposefully inject certain poisons into their systems so that their bodies would become accustomed to the presence of such venoms. In essence, it is possible to survive snake bites, but it is highly recommended to seek medical treatment.
Even the bites of non-poisonous snakes can trigger allergic reactions in some people. But be it poisonous or non-poisonous, it is important to know what to do when bitten.
Snakebite by venomous snakes produces a wide range of effects that range from simple puncture wounds to life-threatening illness and death. A victim can show no initial symptoms of being bitten, but then suddenly develop breathing difficulty and go into shock.
- pain at the location of the bite
- two puncture wounds, often accompanied by swelling and redness
- sweating and drooling
- vomiting, nausea, and difficulty breathing
- vision might get blurred
- numbness in the face and limbs
- drooping eyelids
- low blood pressure
- change in skin color
- tiredness or muscle weakness
- stomach pain
- difficulty swallowing
Tips on How to Survive a Snakebite
Snakes tend to be more active during the summer season. Snake bites are every so often deadly. That is why a quick and satisfactory reaction is so important.
There are different types of poison. Some act on the brain and cause paralysis of the respiratory system, others cause tissue necrosis or alter blood vessels and cause hemorrhage.
- When bitten by a snake, move away from the area. It could be possible that the snake is still in the area and repeated bites will cause more damage.
- Call 911 straightaway, and note the time of the bite.
- Try to stay calm and limit physical activities as much as possible. Too much movement or increased heartbeat can accelerate blood circulation and further fastens and worsens the effects of the poison.
- Contrary to some traditional notion, do not cut or suck the bitten area. That does not do any good either. Also, any venom left on the skin can help experts identify the snake
- If possible, identify the snake that caused the bite. If you can, take a picture of the snake for identification. Note the physical features of the snake, and be ready to describe the snake to emergency staff.
- It is recommended to wrap a bandage 2-4 inches above the bite to reduce the movement of the venom. Make sure the bandage is not tight enough to totally cut off blood flow.
- Remember that even an antidote can cause anaphylactic shock. Thus, before an injection, it is preferable to be in a sanitary structure that has adrenaline and oxygen in case of shock.
Recommendations on How to Prevent snakebite
- Leather shoes protect effectively against almost all snakes.
- Stay away from areas where you know there are snakes.
- Be cautious when climbing rocks.
- Stay on the hiking trail and away from tall grasses, unless you are wearing protective thick leather.
- Use gloves for farming and gardening.
- Keep birds as pets. Many species of birds sound in a certain way to signal danger, such as the presence of a snake
- Keep your surrounding clean. The more orderly the environment is, the more possibilities there are to locate any unwelcome intruder, lurking around.
- For those that live in rural areas, you can use mosquito nets to prevent snakes from getting into bed.
- Use a flashlight to move at night.