#238 Snake Bite Tips

If a snake bites you, keep these tips in mind:

  1. NO CUTTING OR SUCKING! Cutting into the wound will just create infections.
  2. An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of first aid:
    • Wear long pants and boots taller than the ankle
    • Avoid tall brush and deep, dark crevices
    • Make plenty of noise and vibration while walking
    • Do not approach snakes, avoid them
    • Do not expect rattlesnakes to make any noises
  3. If the snake is dead, bringing it to the hospital is appropriate. Be careful, dead snakes can reflexively bite for up to an hour.
  4. In today’s digital world, pictures are easy to get. A quick picture of the snake, even with a cell phone, will help medical crews identify the animal. Rattlesnakes are pit vipers, identified by dents in the side of their heads that look like ears. Coral snakes are small with bands of red bordered by pale yellow or white. Cobras have hoods that spread behind their heads.
  5. It’s not that important to identify the snake; medical crews in areas prone to snake bites can often identify the animal just from the wound. Pit vipers have two fangs and the bite often has two small holes. Coral snakes have small mouths full of teeth with rows of small puncture wounds.