RESCUE MISSION: The RACQ LifeFlight Rescue's Bundaberg-based helicopter has airlifted a toddler from Seventeen Seventy after a suspected snake bite.
RESCUE MISSION: The RACQ LifeFlight Rescue's Bundaberg-based helicopter has airlifted a toddler from Seventeen Seventy after a suspected snake bite. Carolyn Booth

Paramedic revives toddler after near-fatal taipan bite

UPDATE 4PM: The paramedic who brought a toddler back to life after a highly toxic and near-fatal taipan bite is reminding everyone of the importance of first aid.

Just before 4pm Sunday a two-year-old boy was feeding chickens with his mother on a property near Agnes Water when he was bitten by a taipan, Australia's largest venomous snake.

The toddler's condition quickly deteriorated and he was flown to Bundaberg Hospital in a critical condition after going into cardiac arrest.

While he's now in a stable condition in Brisbane Lady Cliento Children's Hospital, QAS critical care flight paramedic Shannyn Bourke said the rescue mission highlighted how quickly snake venom reacts on young children.

"Agnes Water crew attended rapidly and responded and provided first aid to the child and then the helicopter was tasked at their request ," she said.

"Whilst in the ambulance and before retrieval with the helicopter the child's deteriorated very rapidly and experienced a cardiac arrest where he became unresponsive, stopped breathing and his heart actually stopped.

"Obviously we were very concerned about this child, we resuscitated him and after a few minutes his heart began beating on its own."

Ms Bourke said across the state and particularly this area there has been an increase in snake bits in the last month with the warmer weather.

"The most important step in care is identifying if someone has been bitten by a snake and to take it seriously. Call Triple 0 and know the first aid that's required," she said.

"It's important not to try and kill these snakes, to leave them alone and just move to a safe area.

"Don't wash the bite site so they can later test the venom and identify what type of snake it was.

"Then apply a pad to the area and then apply a pressure immobilisation bandage, which is just a very tight, broad bandage that you'll apply from one end of the limb to the other.

"Then apply a splint and don't let the person move around...it reduces the amount of toxins released into the system and circulates around the body."

Ms Bourke said everyone, especially those in rural areas should have a first aid kit and know what to do in the event of a snake bite.

UPDATE: The toddler was transported to Lady Cilento Children's Hospital on Sunday evening in a critical but stable condition.

EARLIER: A young boy has been urgently airlifted to hospital by RACQ LifeFlight Rescue following a suspected snake bite on his lower leg at Seventeen Seventy.

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue's Bundaberg-based helicopter was tasked shortly before 4.30pm Sunday to retrieve the toddler from the Seventeen Seventy SES Grounds.

He was flown to Bundaberg Hospital in a critical but stable condition.

 



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