Brush up on snakebite first aid

The Gladstone Observer

WEST Moreton residents are reminded they share the environment with a number of potentially dangerous snakes.

Snakes are more active in the summer months and Queensland Health wants to ensure everyone knows what to do if they are bitten.

Ipswich Hospital director of emergency Dr Daniel Bitmead said Queensland was home to about 120 species of snakes and about 65% of those were venomous.

"If you're bitten by a snake in your garden or out bushwalking, it's important to know what to do," Dr Bitmead said.

"For those bitten, the prognosis is good if they can get to hospital in time, but sometimes snake bite victims do not even know they have been bitten.

"Some people describe the bite as a feeling like a needle or a scratch; others describe it as a bump with not a lot of pain."

After a snake bite or suspected snake bite, Queensland Health's Queensland Poisons Information Centre advises:

  • Check airway, breathing and circulation.
  • Call 000 for an ambulance for transport to the Emergency Department of the nearest Hospital.
  • Apply a pressure immobilisation bandage as soon as possible. Apply a firm bandage over the bite site, and then cover the entire limb. The bandage should be as tight as you would apply to a sprained ankle.
  • Immobilise the limb using a splint. Any rigid object may be used.
  • Keep the patient still and encourage them to remain calm.


Topics:  queensland health snake bite snakes snake season

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