Snake Bites: Vulnerable Groups & Things To Consider!
Snake bites are an injury produced by a snake bite, especially if the snake is poisonous. Snake bites can be fatal to human health as they can even take a life.
One should never take snake bites lightly as they can be fatal. While some bites are dry and cause swelling, others can be deadly and cause death if not treated swiftly and appropriately. If an individual has been bitten by a snake, then he/she must seek quick medical assistance since it might be a matter of life and death. Snakes bite for prey capture or self-defense, and the intensity of the bite varies by species.
There are many different sorts of snakes, both venomous and non-venomous, and each bite is unique. Snakes contain several forms of venom, which are classified into several primary groups. For example, cytotoxins produce swelling and tissue damage at the bite site. Hemorrhagic substances cause blood arteries to dilate, whereas anti-clotting drugs prevent blood from clotting. Neurotoxins can induce paralysis or harm to the neurological system, whereas myotoxins cause muscular breakdown.
Hence, it is critical to understand that the symptoms of a snake bite can vary widely depending on the kind of snake and the type of venom delivered. Therefore, it is necessary to seek prompt medical care to accurately diagnose the condition and provide the appropriate treatment
Who Are Vulnerable, and How Common Are Snake Bites?
People living in diverse places of the world are at risk from venomous snakes. Those who work in agriculture and hunting, particularly in rural regions, are more prone to snake attacks. This old environmental and occupational illness kills and disables a large number of people in West Africa, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Papua New Guinea, and the Amazonian area. There are around 46,000 snakebite-related deaths in India each year, with Bangladesh reporting approximately 6,000 deaths.
Likewise, survivors frequently have long-term physical and mental health difficulties. Climatic variables impact the frequency of snake bites, with maximum occurring during wet seasons and flooding, which coincide with periods of greater snake and human activity. Many bites occur at night, often harming those who sleep on the floor of their dwellings.
While snake bites are uncommon in the United States and seldom deadly, the World Health Organization estimates that between 4.5 and 5.4 million snake bites occur globally each year, resulting in 1.8 to 2.7 million instances of disease. Snake bites kill between 81,000 and 138,000 people each year, according to estimates.
As a result, unless the snake is shown to be non-venomous, all snake bites should be treated as a medical emergency. Any delay in obtaining care after being bitten by a poisonous snake can have significant repercussions, including death or major damage.
Symptoms & Prevention
It is possible to get bitten by a snake while walking in high water and not realize it. People frequently confuse snake bites with other types of bites or scratches. It is critical to be aware of the following signs and symptoms of a snake bite:
- There are two puncture marks at the wound site
- Swelling and redness surrounding the biting site
- Severe pain at the site of the snake bite
- Struggling with nausea and vomiting
- Breathing is difficult, and in severe cases, breathing difficulty or failure
- Vision disturbance
- Slight increased salivation and perspiration
- Numbness or tingling sensation in the face or limbs
To avoid snake bites, it is essential to be attentive and adopt the following precautions:
- Snakes may be swimming in the water, attempting to reach higher ground, or hiding behind trash or items
- If you come across a snake, back away carefully and avoid touching it
- Remaining alert and employing these protective measures can help lower the risk of snake bites.
Things to Not Consider if Bitten
- Never apply ice to a snakebite wound or immerse it in water
- Never cut the area where you’ve been bitten
- Never try to extract the venom from a snakebite
- Never use a tourniquet or try to stop the flow of blood to or from the snakebite
- Never attempt to pick up or catch the snake
- To ease the pain of a snakebite, do not consume alcohol
- After being bitten by a snake, avoid drinking caffeinated beverages such as coffee or soda
Treatment for Snake Bites
Knowing how to treat a snakebite is critical since it has the ability to save a person’s life. Follow these actions in order to give a snakebite victim the best chance of recovery:
Step 1: Securing the area: Confirm that the snake has retreated because snakes can inflict several bites. Furthermore, be mindful that snakes sometimes live in groups, so make sure there are no additional snakes in the area to guarantee the victim’s and others’ safety. If the snake is still close or in a protective stance, it is best to relocate the victim away from the location before proceeding.
Step 2: Identify the snake: If feasible, try to identify any features of the snake or ask the victim if they have any information about the snake. However, if no one observed the snake, do not try to find it since this may result in more bites. Knowing the snake’s size, shape, and color can help medical personnel treat the bite more successfully.
Step 3: Calm the victim: It might be difficult to keep a snakebite victim calm, but it is critical because being calm can halt the spread of venom and keep the person from falling into shock.
Step 4: Seek medical attention: In the event of a snake bite, it is crucial to promptly contact medical care or assign someone to do so. If bitten by a venomous snake, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention.
Step 5: Provide first aid: Before medical assistance arrives, several first-aid measures can help stabilize the person.
- Position the victim in a sitting or laying posture so that the wound is below the level of the heart
- Rinse the bite gently with warm water and soap
- Cover the wound with clean dressings
It is critical to note that these actions are not intended to replace expert medical treatment. They are intended to help the sufferer until adequate medical assistance is provided.