Re: First Aid question - snakebite
Grant O'Neil (poneilgdo@ALPHA2.CURTIN.EDU.AU)
Sat, 14 Dec 1996 00:02:03 +0800
At 22:38 12/12/96 -0700, you 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.
>Any of the EMT type first aid experts have a read on that?
I don't know what EMT is, but I do have St. John Ambulance Senior First Aid
qualification. Naturally here in Australia treatment for poisonous bites
(snake or otherwise) has to be an essential part of any first aid training.
First I will deal with the outmoded treatment methods that are no longer
used: _NO_ tourniquets (basically the only circumstance where a tourniquet
has any use is for a traumatic amputation), no cutting or sucking the wound.
The recommended treatment has some similarity to bleeding control; pressure
and immobilise. Do not wash the wound (this allows medical staff to get skin
scrapings from the area around the wound to help identify the type of venom
and thus determine the correct anti-venine) Apply a pressure bandage
starting at the point of the wound and extending to the tip of the ling and
then returning up the limb as far as you can go. The bandage should be as
tight as you would tie for a sprain, and must not cut off circulation. The
limb is then immobilised and where possible the casualty is placed in a
position where the site of the injury is lowered (thus meaning that the
venom must move "uphill" in order to spread)
The more general points are to reassure and calm the patient, and to get
medical help as quickly as possible. Also monitor the patient's condition;
depending on the type of venom, in some cases the venom can induce paralysis
and lead to the person stopping breathing; if this happens it is essential
to commence E.A.R. and if necessary C.P.R. immediately, and continue until
either medical help arrives or the person recommences breathing on their own.
This is all from memory. If anyone wants more detail, I can get out my first
aid manual and quote the exact instructions of the approved snakebite treatment.
Grant O'Neil _r| Ll\
Assistant Venturer Leader | |_|__\
2nd Ballajura Venturer Unit => \ |_|_ /
Swan Valley District ~~ `_'
Western Australia v
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City