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VENOMOUS SNAKES

Symptoms and First Aid

Symptoms

Signs or symptoms associated with a snake bite may vary depending on the type of snake, but may include:

  • A pair of puncture marks at the wound
  • Redness and swelling around the bite
  • Severe pain at the site of the bite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Labored breathing (in extreme cases, breathing may stop altogether)
  • Disturbed vision
  • Increased salivation and sweating
  • Numbness or tingling around your face and/or limbs

First Aid

Workers should take the following steps if they are bitten by a snake:

  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible (dial 911 or call local Emergency Medical Services.)
  • Try to remember the color and shape of the snake, which can help with treatment of the snake bite.
  • Keep still and calm. This can slow down the spread of venom.
  • Inform your supervisor.
  • Apply first aid if you cannot get to the hospital right away.
    • Lay or sit down with the bite below the level of the heart.
    • Wash the bite with soap and water.
    • Cover the bite with a clean, dry dressing.

Do NOT do any of the following:

  • Do not pick up the snake or try to trap it.
  • Do not wait for symptoms to appear if bitten, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Do not apply a tourniquet.
  • Do not slash the wound with a knife.
  • Do not suck out the venom.
  • Do not apply ice or immerse the wound in water.
  • Do not drink alcohol as a painkiller.
  • Do not drink caffeinated beverages.
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