Snake bite in the bush

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Snake bite in the bush

Post by NoPressure »

Hi guys

I'm not exactly sure where this thread should be placed.
I have recently came back from a lovely trip through Damaraland - scenery is truly amazing, albeit very dry.

We came across probably about half a dozen snakes during this trip. With this in mind I would like to share a hint or two with regards to snake bites in the bush.

Disclaimer: This is not my medical professional advice, but rather an opinion as a fellow traveler. This is not an exhaustive text on the matter, just a quick guide.

It is important to be able to distinguish between the different families of snakes you encounter, as this predominantly will influence the steps to take after a bite. It is useful to know all the relevant snakes you will encounter in your trip, but just being able to have a rough idea could save a limb or a life.

Boomslang: Short nose with big eyes. Obviously more in trees.
Their venom are haemotoxic - thus affecting the bloods ability to clot. For this reasons the bite can initially be painless. Take of jewelry.
The best action would be to immobilise the individual and limb - less blood pumping - less blood spewing.

Adders: They tend to have triangular heads and usually a big girth in relation to their length. They have cytotoxic poison - that affects soft tissue. If it is severely painful and burning, chances are it is an adder. Raise the limb above the heart slightly and immobilise it. Again take off jewelry.

Spitting Cobra: We all have this idea of a snake with big scales that flare out when they feel threatened, which is the case, but spitting cobras well...spit. Their poison is also cytotoxic, thus the same treatment applies as with adders.

Cobras and Mambas: Know your mambas (green and black). Mambas and most non-spitting cobras have neurotoxic venom. Thus, it attacks your nervous system. Vomiting,slurring, drowsiness etc are all signs. The most dangerous snakes are the black mamba and the cape cobra - know how they look. Putt a compression bandage over the limb and splint/immobilise it.

Do not try to suck the venom out - it goes into the body too fast.
Do not put on a tourniquet- the poison travels through lymph channels - especially with adders and spitting cobras.

In my first aid box I have a spesific pouch for snake bites. Compression bandage, Saline eye washer, sterile gauze and mouth-to-mouth kit. National Poison information number, as well as my house doctors nr.

I carry splints/brace and triangle bandage in my regular first aid box.

Have you ever been bitten, or have assisted someone that was bitten. Tell the story, let us know what they did to help you.

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Re: Snake bite in the bush

Post by ricster »

This is a VERY VERY good post .... this information is so so valuable. I would almost recommend printing something like what you posted ( possible even further abbreviated ) on a small card ( postcard size ) and laminating it and keeping it in the cubby hole, that way if anyone need this info it is instantly accessible. :goodpost: :goodpost: :goodpost:
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Re: Snake bite in the bush

Post by Tinus lotz »

:bravo: :goodpost: thanks dude

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Re: Snake bite in the bush

Post by AndriesS »

Also download the ASI app, I haven't tested how much of the content is on your phone vs online but can be useful if you have signal.

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