After a weekend of snake bites: this is what needs to be done in the moment of truth
The weather warms up and the snakes come out, which increases the risk of encountering some of the most venomous types.
After two cases of snakebite yesterday - here's everything you need to know and do in such a case
Sunday, 15 May 2022, 09:34 Updated: 09:54
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This past weekend two men were bitten by snakes and evacuated to hospital in critical condition.
In the first case, a 49-year-old man is in critical condition after being bitten by a viper snake near a trap.
MDA staff who arrived at the scene provided him with medical treatment and evacuated him to Hillel Yaffe Hospital while he was anesthetized and respirated. Yesterday (Saturday) a 33-year-old man was bitten by a snake in Netanya. It is estimated that it was probably a viper. Medical and was evacuated to Laniado Hospital in a critical and unstable condition, with a symptomatic response.
Snake bites usually occur in the summer and spring months especially on days of hot temperatures - like the scorching weekend - which is not typical for this month of the year. Here is everything you need to know about snake bites and their immediate treatment.
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What to do in case of snakebite?
The first and most important action is to call for help - call an ambulance immediately.
Most of us are not experts in identifying and capturing snakes, so it is best to treat every case of snakebite as an emergency, even if you think you know if the snake was venomous or not.
Many snakes look similar, and waiting for symptoms to appear can be dangerous.
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Are there things you should do as a first aid until the ambulance arrives?
It is advisable to stay as calm as possible, not to run and not to panic, thus trying to slow down the rate of venom spread in the body.
This is especially important in the case of a venomous snake.
This is because the venom penetrates the body most often through the lymphatic system and not directly through the bloodstream as many believe.
Unlike blood that is pumped continuously in the body, the lymph moves when the limbs are moved, so it is recommended to stay calm and move as little as possible.
Long, deep breaths may help the body relax.
In addition, it is advisable to identify the snake when reporting or arriving for a medical examination, so if it is possible to photograph it it is excellent.
You should photograph the snake to facilitate the treatment.
Viper Snake (Photo: Walla !, Official Website)
Should something be put in the area of the hit?
Most snake bites are in the lower limbs and some in the hands.
To help slow down the absorption of venom it is recommended, assuming there is equipment available, to bandage the lash area with an elastic bandage (below and above the lash area).
If you do not have a useful bandage available you can use any other elastic material like a torn shirt, socks or other fabric.
Of course in case of a hit in the area of the head, neck or torso do not put a compression bandage at all.
What should not be done?
It is advisable to avoid stubborn attempts to catch, injure or kill the snake.
All hospitals have antibody treatment for the different types of venom, and tests that can help determine the severity of the beating and tailor the most appropriate treatment.
In addition, there are many old methods of treating snake bites that can do more harm than good.
Among the non-recommended methods - flushing the area of the bite, sucking the bite area to "pump out the venom", cut the area of the bite or wrap an artery blockage on the limb, which can cause irreversible damage.