References
     (2016). Snake Bite First-Aid - Backpacker. Retrieved November 13, 2016, from http://www.backpacker.com/survival/snake-bite-first-aid/


     Snakebites: First aid. (n.d.). Retrieved November 13, 2016, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-snake-bites/basics/ART-20056681


     Snakebite Treatment: First Aid Information for Snakebite. (n.d.). Retrieved November 13, 2016, from http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/snakebite-treatment

Snake Bite

When not in the wilderness
If you are bitten by a venomous snake, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately, especially if the area changes color, begins to swell or is painful. Many hospitals stock antivenin drugs, which may help you.
 
        1.    What did the snake look like?
a)    Remain calm and move beyond the snake's striking distance.
b)    Identify the snake by shape of head (if diamond shape or flat) and colors
c)    Use a cell phone camera to take a picture of the snake if possible
    

    Expedient Identification of venomous snakes in U.S.
•    Rattlesnakes rattle by shaking the rings at the end of their tails
•    Water moccasins' mouths have a white, cottony lining
•    Coral snakes have red, yellow and black rings along the length of their bodies.  Remember this of the colored rings; “when red touches yellow it can kill a fellow.”


        2.    Protect the snake bite victim
If possible, take these steps while waiting for medical help:
a)    Remove jewelry and tight clothing before you start to swell
b)    Remove shoes if the leg or foot was bitten
c)    Position yourself, if possible, so that the bite is at or below the level of your heart
d)    Clean the wound, but don't flush it with water. Cover it with a clean, dry dressing

                       Caution
•    Don't use a tourniquet or apply ice
•    Don't cut the wound or attempt to remove the venom
•    Don't drink caffeine or alcohol, which could speed the rate at which your body absorbs venom
•    Don't try to capture the snake. Try to remember its color and shape so that you can describe it, which will help in your treatment


        3.    Follow up
If you treat snake bite at home:
•    Contact a health care provider. The snake bit victim may need a tetanus shot. Tetanus boosters should be given every 10 years.
At the hospital, treatment will depend on the type of snake.
•    If the snake was venomous, the person will be given anti-venom treatment.
•    A tetanus shot may be given, depending on date of last injection.


Most North American snakes aren't dangerous to humans. Some exceptions include the rattlesnake, coral snake, cotton mouth (water moccasin) and copperhead. Their bites can be life-threatening.  Click button for snake identification page:

When in the wilderness
1.    What did the snake look like?
       a)  Remain calm and move beyond the snake's striking distance
       b)  Identify the snake by shape of head (if diamond shape or flat) and colors
       c)  Use a cell phone camera to take a picture of the snake if possible
2.    If rescue is not possible
       a)   Immobilize the bitten extremity with a splint
       b)  Position victim if possible, so that the bite is at or below the level of your heart
       c)  Carry victim out, if possible; if you can’t carry victim, he/she will have to walk out
       d)  Watch for signs of shock; heavy sweating, shallow breathing & clammy skin
       e)  Normally takes at least 2 hours for symptoms to take effect

Giel Boles, Giel S. Boles