Re: First Aid question - snakebite
Michael Phelan (mphelan@BYU.EDU)
Fri, 13 Dec 1996 11:06:04 -0700
>Chuck Bramlet (chuckb@AZTEC.ASU.EDU) wrote:
>>Tonioght at RT, one of the felloows gave a presentation on camping
>>first aid. One of the items he showed was a "power" suction cup for
>>snakebite. It is a tube with a plunger to pull, rather than push,
>>to suck the poisen. I mentioned that _I_ had been under the
>>impression that sucking was no longer approved for snakebite.
>Michael Phelan (mphelan@BYU.EDU) added:
>>According to Cox, you should do *nothing* but treat for shock and get help
>>or transport the victim to a hospital. No ice packs, tourniquets, or folk
>>remedies should be applied. Death from a snake bite, other than when the
>And Byron Hynes (bph@INTERNORTH.COM) said:
>>7. apply a constricting band to slow the spread of poison
>There are a couple of additions I would make. First off, Chuck, your
>intuition is correct according to current theory. *I* would disagree with
>what Michael said that Cox would say (the doing nothing part) and would
>support what Byron says about a constricting band, but I think there is
>some confusion about what they really are.
Before I proceed with my comments, let me say Monte that I am not trying to
start an argument or trying to be right. As I look at your credentials, I
am definately on (as Scar said) the lower end of the gene pool. :-) This
is how I understand the subject and am trying to educate others.
Your point about the constricting band is 100 percent correct in
definition, the problem is that untrained people do not know how to apply a
band and many times it turns into a tourniquet.
The reason that it is not necessary to even apply the constricting band is
the behavior of the venom once it enters the body. (This is assuming that
it has entered muscle tissue and not veins and arteries. Well over 90
percent enters muscle tissue) The venom pools in capillaries and is
usually trapped in the local area around the bite. It does not enter the
bloodstream and disperses very slowly throughout the body (at least 12
hours). This is why we shouldn't do anything and that we have a lot of
time to seek medical help.
Once again, this is how I have been taught and my understanding of snakebites.
I can't say it enough: Happy Holidays to all of my Scouts-L friends!
A Feisty Fox
Michael Phelan, Ph.D. ____ ____
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