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Information: University of Maryland Medicine

Each year, there are about 7,000 victims in the U.S.--mostly in the summer season.
Poisonous snake bites are medical emergencies. It usually takes several hours for snake venom to kill. The right antivenom can save a victim's life.
Snake bites can cause severe local tissue damage and often require follow-up care.

Poisonous snake bites include bites by any of the following "pit viper" snakes
water moccasin
coral snake

bloody wound discharge
blurred vision
excessive sweating
fang marks in the skin
increased thirst
localized tissue death
loss of muscle coordination
nausea and vomiting
numbness and tingling
rapid pulse
severe localized pain
skin discoloration
swelling at the site of the bite

     Do nots:
DO NOT allow the victim to exercise. If necessary, carry the victim to safety.
DO NOT apply a tourniquet.
DO NOT apply cold compresses to a snake bite.
DO NOT cut into a snake bite.
DO NOT give the victim stimulants or pain medications unless instructed to do so by a doctor.
DO NOT give the victim anything by mouth.
DO NOT raise the site of the bite above the level of the victim's heart.
DO NOT try to suction the venom--doing so may cause more harm than good.

Call Your Healthcare Provider if:
someone has been bitten by a snake. Time is of the essence. If possible, call ahead to the emergency room so antivenom can be ready when the victim arrives.

First Aid:

1. Keep the victim calm, restrict movement, and keep the affected area below heart level to reduce the flow of venom.

2. Wash the bite with soap and water.

3. Remove any rings or constricting items; the affected area may swell.

4. If the area of the bite begins to swell and change color, the snake was probably poisonous.

5. Cover the bite with a clean, cool compress or a clean, moist dressing to reduce swelling and discomfort.

6. Monitor the vital signs (temperature, pulse , rate of breathing, blood pressure ) of the victim. If there are signs of shock (such as paleness ), lay the victim flat, raise the feet about a foot, and cover the victim with a blanket.

7. Get medical help immediately.