Many people ask me how dangerous are snakes?
The answer is that snakes have gathered as many myths as sharks through the years.
But they still remain animals that have developed unique ways of defending themselves and should be given the respect that they deserve.
Snakes are wild creatures that just want to live out their lives the way they were designed to. With the exceptions of a few species that reside mainly in Australia and Africa, the huge majority of venomous snakes have absolutely no interest in humans and don’t attack.
In fact, people who live in warmer ponds have probably been within inches of a venomous snake and never known about it. They do this because they do not want to waste their venom on species which aren’t their prey.
Humans have a macabre relationship with snakes that isn’t really justified. The mere mention of the word initiates an anxious reaction that’s deeply embedded in our subconscious mind as a primeval defense strategy against unnecessary harm.
The first thing to do would be to lie the individual down and keep them still. That includes yourself whether it is you who had been bitten. By doing this we’re attempting to keep the pulse low. However this has limited impact since the anxiety one feels after snake bite raises the pulse. In saying that, running about most certainly makes things worse.
The second thing to do would be to identify the type of snake that bit the individual in question. If you can’t identify it make a mental note of what it looked like.
Get some ice if possible and put it on the lesion. Keep the injured part of the body as still as possible. Apply a splint if you’ve got suitable materials at hand.
Get medical help. Use your mobile phone to call an ambulance. If the ambulance station is far from where you are, ask for a helicopter or failing that begin to drive in the direction of the ambulance. Mark your vehicle in some way that the ambulance will recognize you. E.g. use a shirt as a flag. Call the police they might be closer to your area. If you are in a park or wilderness call the ranger service. They are able to keep anti venom.
Meet the ambulance half way and move the patient to the ambulance.
NEVER attempt to suck the poison out or cut the wounded area. You may poison yourself and cause the venom to disperse more quickly. Only apply a tourniquet or any other sort of blood flow restriction device if you are advised to do so by a health professional.
Venom takes time to mix with the blood. You can demonstrate this by taking taking a glass of water and gently placing one drop of ink on the surface of the water. You will discover how it takes a long time for the ink to mix throughout the water. Venom is the same. The venom is somewhere embedded in the tissue.
If you are going to a wilderness, allow the authorities know where you’re going and when you’re expected back. Take distress flares with you and find out if you will have reception for your cellular phone. Learn where help stations are situated, including emergency phones.
Wear sensible boots, Do not turn over logs and rocks. Don’t sit down without first checking the region and especially do not lean on fallen trees or rocks without checking them well first.
Don’t be tempted to touch wildlife including snakes. Do not leave your boots out your tent at night, snakes like to creep into places for protection against the cold.
Don’t leave food scraps because they will attract the local rodents. Snakes follow their food source that’s little animals, especially rodents. No rodents equals less prospect of snakes.
If you don’t have a tent, sleep above ground in a hammock if you can. Follow these simple rules and your chances of being bitten are much less.
Remember! Of you are going to work in your garden or pick something up in an area that has good camouflage for snakes like under bushes, one of leaves, rocks or timber test the whole area gently with a long stick first.