In the absence of a proper snake bite kit

R

rhea

Guest
Threat: Water Moccassin and Copper Head.
Question: Do you elevate the extremity after the poison has been extracted as best you can..

I will ask the 911 operator who can probably help to assess the situation more thoroughly for specific detail before deciding.
 

pardus

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I'm assuming this is a hypothetical question right? you shouldn't call 911 unless it's an emergency! if its an emergency, don't ask here!!!

Snake bite SOP IIRC, relax, lie down down, get someone else to get help, tourniquet, kill snake keep for pos identification.

Bend over, kiss ass goodbye :D

If you elevate the limb you will force the venom into the heart which is very very bad, particularly if its a neurotoxin, do the opposite.

The idea behind relaxing, lying down is to slow/prevent the venom from reaching the heart.
 

Queen Beach

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Thats an hour quicker than any other fucker! including the medics and rangers who should be leading the way! :D

Why yes..yes it is. I guess I figured all your time in the bush..you would have stepped up sooner! LMAO! :huh?:

Seriously...Rhea I hope everything is ok.
 

pardus

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Hard to reply when you aren't looking and are drinking like a man possessed }:-)
 
L

Looon

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:doh: The post was origonally worded as a hypothetical question.

DO NOT try to suck out the poison.
 
R

rhea

Guest
Sorry...it's a hypothetical. I've never heard not to suck the poison out. Everything else was in line with what I remember tho...

For the first time in 20 years, I'll be outside without a combat lifesaver/first responder with us, so I was just trying to remember.

I will have my cell phone with me so I would definitely be calling 911 regardless of whether it was myself or someone else.
 

pardus

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If the person who sucks the poison out has a cut or swallows any, they are about as fucked as the bite victim.
 
R

rhea

Guest
If the person who sucks the poison out has a cut or swallows any, they are about as fucked as the bite victim.


I knew you weren't supposed to swallow..o wait...maybe I"m thinking of something else...:doh:

Seriously, maybe it said so on those cards they used to hand out, but I dont remember ever seeing it...
 

Centermass

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Having handled snakes most of my life and being around them (including cottonmouths) the last thing you want to do is elevate the limb right away.

Here's why:

Elevating the limb will only accelerate the transfer of the hemotoxic venom between the bite area and the heart if done right away.

In this instance, wait.

First apply a constricting band (not a tourniquet) a couple of inches up above and below the bite area, and if possible, disinfect the bite area with an antiseptic

If you have a kit and are not squeamish, if you know what your doing, make incisions with the blade across the bite area.

Remember that the venom sacks are located at the top of the snakes mouth. Don't worry about any opposing marks.

Use the suction bulbs to try and evacuate what you can of the venom. This has to be done quickly to offset as much hemotoxic damage as possible.

In the absence of a kit, as long as you or another person has no open sores in their mouth, you can suck it out that way. And no, you won't die if you wind up ingesting some of it (myth)

Get a cold compress on it as soon as possible to help "slow the flow" and keep the swelling reduced.

Check the constricting bands from time to time as the swelling will increase and the will eventually become tourniquets if you don't.

Also, get any bracelets, rings, watches etc off of the victim immediately (especially if it's a Rolex
icon_mrgreen.gif
) before the swelling takes effect (and it will very rapidly)

Then, keep the affected limb even or slightly elevated, monitor for shock, continue to check for swelling and transport immediately.

I was there when a buddy of mine (and fellow handler) was bit by "meathooks" an apppropriately named moccasin (because of his size and girth) who wasn't cooled down (refrigerated) long enough prior to handling him.

After he got him out and applied the hand hold technique, he began to writhe himself loose.

When the handler began to realize meathooks was seconds away from muscling himself loose, he attempted to drop him back in the box. He then extended himself and made an explosive launch and subsequent bite to his arm.

Everything I just explained was applied in this incident. This can be applied to almost all venomous snakes, including copperheads, which, unlike moccasins, are not aggressive.

Now for the irony: He was medevaced to an AF hospital ER. When he got there, the ER personnel mistook the constricting bands for tourniquets, who then loosened and opened them up.

He flatlined almost immediately and almost lost his life. He was successfully resuscitated, but had a lengthy recovery and suffered large amounts of skin loss and tissue damage.
 

gryfen

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Centermass, got a question for you:

I've got no problem with snakes, per say....but CottonMouths just freak me out.

Are they generally territorial, or was the one that took after me just being 'aggressive'?
 
R

rhea

Guest
Thanks Centermass---that is an excellent post. I would have never thought of suction bulbs! I won't be able to do that today. I can probably get a real snake bit kit before I get a bulb, but that's the only thing I don't have. The other stuff, I have just because it's serving other purposes.

Probably the best piece of advise I ever heard is that snakes are generally as afraid of you as your are of them. Keeping an eye out is generally the best deterence and not cornerning them by mistake.

But, it's been a long ass damn time...I just wanted a refresher.
 

Centermass

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Centermass, got a question for you:

I've got no problem with snakes, per say....but CottonMouths just freak me out.

Are they generally territorial, or was the one that took after me just being 'aggressive'?

The damn things are born with attitudes right out of the box.

Most snakes will turn and hi tail it in the opposite direction unless given no other choice.

Moccasins on the other hand will not. They will stand their ground, tread their patch of water and come after you.

They are very territorial, aggressive and downright mean (dangerous)
 

Centermass

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Thanks Centermass---that is an excellent post. I would have never thought of suction bulbs! I won't be able to do that today. I can probably get a real snake bit kit before I get a bulb, but that's the only thing I don't have. The other stuff, I have just because it's serving other purposes.

Probably the best piece of advise I ever heard is that snakes are generally as afraid of you as your are of them. Keeping an eye out is generally the best deterence and not cornerning them by mistake.

But, it's been a long ass damn time...I just wanted a refresher.

The bulbs on most kits actually house the kit itself inside (they break or separate in half)

Glad I could help.

One other thing I forgot to mention,

Whenever we did shows for other members of the service, scouts, etc, we would purposely pre-bite and milk ol meathooks and other venomous snakes before we put them into the cool down mode.

We did this in the event of what took place as I described were to happen, and the handler was struck, the sacs would have had a majority of the venom evacuated from them, not that anyone wants to get nailed in the first place, but just a proactive measure to reduce an already nasty injury.

Unfortunately, that did not take place that day and made the bite that more deadly and the recovery time that much more lengthy.

The Ranger in question was a stud, in absolute peak, physical condition. Had he not been or had it been anyone else, I can honestly say I do not believe they would have survived what he did.
 
R

rhea

Guest
Yeah...snake bites are a bitch. Everyone had great input. The only thing I couldn't remember for certain was about elevation. It was good to air out whether or not to try and extract the venom because quite obviously from your post, even emergency personnel don't really know what they are doing all the time. I guess we should add escort to the hospital w/victim so that ER doesn't remove bindings.

I undertand what your saying about the suction bulbs in the kit, but maybe my SIL has one of those suction bulbs they use on babies...

Suction bulbs are better anyway, if you have to make a cut, there is blood and blood means risk of AIDS or hepatitis transmission.
Thanks everyone for your input.

The bulbs on most kits actually house the kit itself inside (they break or separate in half)

Glad I could help.

One other thing I forgot to mention,

Whenever we did shows for other members of the service, scouts, etc, we would purposely pre-bite and milk ol meathooks and other venomous snakes before we put them into the cool down mode.

We did this in the event of what took place as I described were to happen, and the handler was struck, the sacs would have had a majority of the venom evacuated from them, not that anyone wants to get nailed in the first place, but just a proactive measure to reduce an already nasty injury.

Unfortunately, that did not take place that day and made the bite that more deadly and the recovery time that much more lengthy.

The Ranger in question was a stud, in absolute peak, physical condition. Had he not been or had it been anyone else, I can honestly say I do not believe they would have survived what he did.
 

Centermass

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Just a couple of end notes here (a few I forgot and I'm tired-been a long night)

AIDS and Hepatitis are definitely factors in those you don't know when it comes to bloodborne pathogens vs treatment of a venomous bite, however, most snakebites occur to someone that is with you, a member of the family or someone you do know. If nothing else is available, just something to think about.

Have anyone that is bitten lay down. Reduces the amount of exertion the body is already using in response to nervousness of the patient (increased heartrate and breathing due to fear etc)

Universal medical symbol for a tourniquet recognized by almost all medical professionals is a red "T" on the forehead. They assume most of the public in general is unaware of this. They also assumed that we were unaware as well and reacted as they did. :uhh:

The examples of bites I used all were outer extremities (limbs) as they are the most common.

Bites to the torso region, head and neck are not good. Constricting bands are not usable and things will go south a lot quicker if this is case. Suction as much venom as possible, disinfect and still apply the cold compresses and don't waste a minute getting them to treatment.
 
R

rhea

Guest
One final note...today is a really good example of the detraction that training can bring to a situation. After so many years in the military, we were conditioned to not think for ourselves. It's an unintended consequence for sure, but a part of the problem for common troops. I know this board is for special operations and you guys are trained differently.

My biggest bitch was that they never let me clear a jam on the range, if you never do it then you will not react.

All troops should have to take a shot at giving safety briefings and the like. If you just wait until someone tells you, then you don't actively identify the problem on your own and you don't get the habit of it. Used to annoy me to death to wait and see if someone was gonna address a particular safety hazard. While I'm no high speed anything, I just hate the assumption that we are supposed to wait until we are told what to do.

JMHO
 
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