Snake-bite treatment myths debunked
SNAKES are on the move in Queensland and with 20 of the world's most deadly 25 species of snakes calling Australia home, many members of the public are unsure of the correct first aid treatment.
St John Queensland first aid expert Mark Richards said there were many myths involving first aid treatment for snake bites, and it was important for Queenslanders to know fact from fiction.
"A common myth is sucking the venom out of a snake bite - this will simply spread the poison to another person and you will be left with two victims instead of one," he said.
"Do not wash the bitten area or try to catch the snake - your first step in any situation is to follow the DRSABCD action plan (Danger, Response, Send for help, Airway, Breathing, CPR, and Defibrillation).
"Ensure the casualty is relaxed as much as possible; reassure them that everything will be ok - this will slow down the time it takes for the venom to go through the body.
"Apply a pressure bandage with immobilisation, then splint the bandaged limb."
Mr Richards said you should mark the site of the bite on the bandage and write down as much information as you can, such as the time of the bite, a description of the snake and when the bandage was applied.
He said common symptoms of a snake bite victim included a headache, nausea, drooping eyelids, drowsiness and problems speaking,
"If you are unsure what type of snake bit your casualty, always call 000 for an ambulance," he said.
These first aid tips are not a substitute for first aid training.
St John Ambulance offers a range of first aid courses including Provide First Aid, Resuscitation and Workplace First Aid.
For more information visit www.stjohnqld.com.au