Charlotte Snake Bites – What to Do if You Get Bit

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • June 08, 2017

How to Handle a Snake Bite

We talked last month about how to spot the different snakes that might show up in your backyard due to the frequent sightings in Charlotte. Now, we want to dive a little deeper into the safety of how you should handle a snake bite if it happens to you or someone you’re with:

Get Away From Snake

First and foremost, it’s important to get as far away from the snake as possible. Sometimes snakes continue to have reflexes postmortem, which can lead to more bites and victims, even without consciousness.

Instead of trying to capture it, make arrangements to get medical help as quickly and calmly as possible.

Remove Constricting Clothing

Keep the body part that has been bitten in a neutral position or just slightly below the level of the heart. This helps prevent any additional swelling from developing. Any constricting clothing or jewelry around the bitten body part should also be removed immediately.

Do Not Repeat What You’ve Seen in Movies

Don’t rely on Hollywood for medical advice. We do not recommend any sort of incision, suction, tourniquet application, or electric shock. These are not only invaluable, but they can be very dangerous. Instead – leave it to the experts. Call 911 or get to the hospital as soon as possible.

What to Expect at the Doctors

First responders will focus on supporting the victim’s airway, breathing, and circulation while transporting the patient to a hospital as quickly as possible.

They will ask for a brief history of the patient, the specifics of the bite, a description of the snake, and the patient’s medical conditions and allergies. It’s important for them to be aware of any allergies to horse or sheep products because these animals are used in the production of the antivenoms.

The doctor will inspect the wound closely for evidence of fang marks and measure the swelling around the wound and track how fast it progresses ‘ this can serve as a guide for administering antivenom.

The doctor will then make the decision to treat a patient with antivenom based on the information provided, such as the species of snake (if known), how quickly the swelling from the bite site is progressing, and any problems with the blood.

Prevent it From Happening in the Future

The best solution is to prevent the snake bite from happening in the future. Be aware of your surroundings while outdoors and never reach into a hole or step over logs without looking.

As we said before, the number of snake sightings in Charlotte is on the rise. If you suspect you have snakes in your yard or neighborhood, don’t hesitate to call our wildlife specialists at (704) 563-8787.

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