7 Tips for Snake Bites

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Red Coss wants to make sure people know what to do if they get bitten by a snake on a hike. 

Rich Woodruff from the Utah Red Cross joined GMU with tips. After contacting medical help and while waiting for medical attention or prior to hiking the victim out, Red Cross offers these following instructions:

1.    Keep the snake bite victim calm, keeping them still and quiet. Restrict movement and keep the affected area at or below heart level to reduce the flow of venom.
2.    Remove any constricting items and tight clothing as the affected area may swell.
3.    Allow the bite to bleed freely for 15 – 30 seconds before cleansing. Clean the wound, but don’t flush with water. Cover it with a clean, dry dressing.
4.    Create a loose splint to help restrict movement of the affected area.
5.    Monitor the person’s vital signs – temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Also be aware of paleness.
6.    Watch for any signs of shock (sweating, clammy skin, or shallow breathing) since the fear of having been bitten is often more dangerous than the bite itself.
7.    Attempt to identify the snake and its appearance or, only if it can be done safely, bring in the dead snake. Do not waste time hunting for the snake, and do not risk another bite if it is not easy to kill the snake. Even after it has been killed, be very careful transporting the snake as it can still bite for several hours after dying. Amazingly enough, snakes have been reported to bite humans even after being decapitated.
 
Visit redcross.org/utah to learn more.

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