Avoid snakes as much as possible: if you see one, give it space to let it escape–this is usually what a snake will seek to do when encountering a human. If that doesn’t work and you are bitten, do the following:
1. Seek medical attention as quickly as possible.
Call 000 for an ambulance, lie the person down and try keep the person calm. Keep the area of the bite below the level of the heart in order to slow the spread of venom through the bloodstream.
2. If the bite is on a limb: use a bandage to slow the spread of poison.
The ideal bandage is an elasticised roller bandage 10-15 cm wide. Use clothing or other material if an elasticised roller bandage is not available. Apply as tightly as possible to the limb. Do not use a tourniquet. Use splints to immobilise the limb
3. Avoid tampering with the bite itself.
Don’t try to suck the poison out. Avoid washing the area of the bite as any venom left on the skin will be important in identifying the snake and treating the bite with anti-venom.
4. Remove any jewellery or watches.
These could cut into the skin if swelling occurs.
5. Stay with the victim until medical aid arrives.
Keep them calm, write down the time of the bite, the time the bandage was applied and mark the bite with a pen on the skin. These could be useful to medical staff. Through following these simple steps, you will be in the best possible position to come through a snake bite safely.