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Snakes Alive – Did you know this?

By on October 7, 2014
Cleaning up the Old Chicken Pen

 Talking about snake bites is not something I had ever thought about sharing on

The End of Life Matters  

but after my experience yesterday when cleaning up the old chicken pen it makes absolute sense to me now to have you prepared for something that could end someone’s life if you do not know the importance of Correct First Aid

Yesterday I was clearing out the old chicken’s pen in the back yard at our place getting ready to plant summer vegetables. We had my grandchildren and my nephew’s young kids running around having a wonderful time in the spring sun. My nephew joked with me saying he is always wary of picking up old corrugated iron sheets off the ground as he always finds Red Bellie Black Snakes underneath. I laughed and said don’t be silly and kept clearing away all the old compost material I had dumped on top of the tin over the last few months. Not long after this my nephew left. When no-one else was around I went to pick up the tin to move it and low and behold my nephew was absolutely correct – there was a 5-6 foot Red Bellied Black SnakeRed Bellied Black Snake - Snake Catcher Graham's photo

These snakes are not nearly as deadly as some can be but because we have children around a lot I didn’t want to take any chances. I called  Graham from Central Coast Snake Catchers to come and relocate the snake away from our garden and into the nearby bush.

Graham suggested that it might help you if I shared his

First Aid for Snake Bites


The only recognised form of First Aid for snake bite is the pressure and immobilisation bandage.
This works in two ways – pressure, and immobilisation!
Snake venom is most usually,always carried by the lymphatic system, not the blood system.
By applying the bandage correctly the pressure effectivily halts the flow of the lymph carrying the venom. By splinting the limb (immobilising), we further stop the movement of the venom, because movement, pushes lymph around our body.

Snake bite DO’s   –   As Soon As Possible

  • Do get away from danger. If the snake is still close by, slowly move away from it to apply first aid.
  • Do remain calm. Reassure the bitten person. The proper application of the Pressure and Immobilisation Bandage can be very effective in halting venom for hours.
  • Do remove any jewelery (rings, watches etc) from the bitten limb. If there has been envenomation, the limb will swell so removal of all jewelery is critical.
  • Do apply a broad pressure bandage to the limb starting at the fingers or toes and working up the limb as far as possible. Use as many bandages as necessary to get right the way up the WHOLE limb. Leave only the tips of the fingers or toes exposed, to check on blood circulation by pressing the nail down. Only bandage like you would for a sprain, don’t cut off the blood flow by wrapping the bandage too tight.
  • Do apply a splint to the limb and bandage that as well to lock the limb into an immobile position.
  • If possible, mark the bite spot on the top of the first bandage.
  • Do call an ambulance on 000. If there are others around get them to call 000 at the very start.

Snake bite Dont’s

  • Don’t try to catch or kill the snake. It won’t be needed for identification of species.
  • Don’t wash the bite site, or try to suck the venom out.
  • Don’t apply a tourniquet, or attempt to cut the bite site.
  • Don’t panic. Stay as calm as possible. This first aid technique is very successful. 
  • Do not remove the bandage. Leave that for the doctor. 

About Trypheyna McShane

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