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How to Avoid Snake Bites

by Aymen Saleh

Lastminute-Express.de - Last Minute Reisen online


 
 

Snakes are the most recent group of reptiles to appear, probably evolving from lizards or lizardlike animals about 100 million years ago, toward the end of the Mesozoic era.

Snakes only strike when they feel they are in danger or they are trapped and there is no way out except to attack. Most of the time, people are bitten when they try to catch, kill a snake or they disturb it not knowing that there is a snake close. The best action to take if you come across a snake is to slowly and quietly move away leaving a passage for it to escape. There are few things that can prevent your encounter with a snake.

Take good care if you are in a snake's territory. Firewood, holes and under the rocks are the same places that snakes consider home. Snakes are always blended into their territory. Particularly, you should be very cautious near sources of water. Some snakes hunt in or near water. Stay out of tall grass, underbrush, abandoned buildings or foundations. Piles of logs, rocks, and branches if you should move any or take some out of them -> investigate them first with a long stick or hiking stick and make sure you are far away enough if a snake rises between them.

Look at where you sit and step carefully. Don't reach into holes and crevices or jump over logs and fences without being able to see what you're getting into and where you will put your foot in your next step. When turning logs and rocks, pull them toward you first, so you won't be in the escape path of any startled snakes. If you are lifting something, roll it towards you before lifting it and never put your hand under it. Snakes always take them as a shelter in daylight. Remember, if you see a snake, there may be more nearby and sometime bigger.
Don't touch any snake, even if you think it is dead some of them are extremely silent and very fast. Even a cut off head is still in a position to bite even 24h later (as a reflex).
Do not depend on a hearing - the warning always depends on your sight. Snakes don't always hiss and rattle snakes don't always rattle. Most snakes give no warning at all before attacking. Wear boots and long pants when hiking in snake territory and it is better to have long sleeves too. Always hike with a companion.
Use a flashlight and wear boots outdoors after dark, especially during the hottest months. By that time reptiles avoid daytime heat and sun and are more active at night. See that your yard, sidewalks, and patio have plenty of light.

If anyone was ever attacked by a snake what should you do?

 

 

Figure of Constricting Band Properly Applied
  1. Move the casualty away from (the snake) danger.
  2. Calm and reassure the casualty, keep them lying down, quiet, and warm. Do not give the casualty anything to eat or drink.
  3. Immobilize the casualty's affected extremity, keeping the area below the level of the heart.
  4. Remove jewelry from affected area, unless the casualty objects.
  5. Apply a constricting band (belt, necktie) 2 to 4 inches above the fang marks as in the Fig. between the bite and the heart. It should be tight enough to stop the flow of blood in the veins but not through the arteries (not a tourniquet). Adjust the band as swelling occurs. Never place a band around a joint, the head, neck, or chest.
  6. Suction the bite over the fang marks, using an extractor from a snakebite kit. Suction by mouth is recommended only as a last resort. Suction after 30 minutes is ineffective, the venom has already diffused.
  7. Monitor the airway, breathing, and circulation (ABCs).
  8. Treat for shock.
  9. Never apply ice to afflicted area.
  10. Contact nearest medical facility, if possible, so that the proper antivenom can be made available.
  11. Transport the casualty (and the dead snake if any) as soon as possible (never chase a snake to kill it).

For a detailled treatment in case of a bite have a look at www.surgery.ucsd.edu.

 


 

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