Bundaberg Snake Catcher David Flack with spotted python.
Bundaberg Snake Catcher David Flack with spotted python. Sharyn O'Neill ROK290812szoo2

Ssssnakes are on the move

BUNDABERG Hospital has seen 45 people so far this year for snake bites - about one a week.

Luckily in 42 of the cases snakes had not injected their venom, but with the weather warming up snake catchers are reminding locals to be wary.

On Tuesday night a 33-year-old man was bitten by a snake as he walked through a park in West Bundaberg.

Bundaberg Snake Catcher's David Flack said snake breeding season now in full swing people should take precautions.

"The snakes aren't around so much in winter and people seem to get use to not seeing them,” he said.

Queensland Ambulance Service Operations Supervisor Martin Kelly said the number of calls due to snake bites were normal for this time of year.

"A lot of people are bitten when walking through long grass which has shot up after the rain.” he said.

"Snakes can be anywhere and people need to remember this and always be aware.”

He said with only slight variations between some snakes, it was also important not to take risks with thinking a snake is non-venomous.

"With some snakes even the experts have to count the amount of scale of certain snake to tell them apart,” Mr Kelly said.

Bundaberg Hospital Clinical Director of Emergency Medicine Terry George said of this year's 45 presentations, 32 were male and 13 were female.

And the age brackets with the highest number of presentations were between 36-60 years with 15 in this age bracket, followed by 12 people aged between17-35 years.

Dr George said it was important for people to act quickly after a possible snake bite, because at their worst they could be life-threatening.

"Snake bites can also have other serious consequences, such as cardiac arrest, acute kidney injuries, or brain and muscle damage,” he said.

Last year there in the same time frame 48 people presented to Bundaberg Hospital due to possible snake bite.

"Of these, four had a diagnosis of snake bite with envenomation, the other 44 had bites with no envenomation,” he said.

Anyone who would finds a snake and needs assistance can phone snake catcher Mr Flack 0407 732 132.

If bitten:

DO NOT wash the area of the bite or try to suck out the venom.

DO NOT incise or cut the bite, or apply a high tourniquet.

DO NOT allow the victim to walk or move their limbs. Use a splint or sling to minimise all limb movement.

DO bandage firmly, splint and immobilise to stop the spread of venom. Place a folded pad over the bite area and then applying a firm bandage.

DO seek emergency medical help immediately by phoning 000.



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