COOL HEAD: Keep them calm and limit movement is the advice for victims of snake bites from the state ambulance service.
COOL HEAD: Keep them calm and limit movement is the advice for victims of snake bites from the state ambulance service. Samuel Hunt

How to treat snake bite

SUMMER has started early and with the heat has come the snakes: Experts are warning Queenslanders to stay snake aware.

The Queensland Ambulance Service has reminded residents to act quickly and calmly if bitten, with an increase in snake activity now the state is warming up.

Members of the public are urged to be vigilant, not only while out walking but in and around their homes as well.

QAS clinical quality and patient safety director Tony Hucker yesterday provided advice on what to do if you suspect a snake bite.

"It's that time of the year where snakes are out, so it's important we take a safe approach when we are in our backyard or out bush walking,” Mr Hucker said.

"Remember snakes won't deliberately bite us, they'll only bite if they're provoked, so if you see one, just stay away from it.”

Mr Hucker reminded Queenslanders to avoid long grass, keep an eye out, never put your hands in areas you couldn't see properly and to keep your grass low.

A video also reminds the public that dying from a snake bite is rare, with only two people a year nationally killed in this manner.

Mr Hucker demonstrated first aid response in treating snake bite victims, saying it was very straight forward and simple.

"It's very important that we make (the victim) relax, so she's not pumping too much blood around her body.

"Quickly put a pressure mobilisation bandage on the limb but, if you have a first aid kit, first put a dressing over the bite site to keep it dry.

"Next, put on a broad roll of bandage, make it nice and firm... right down to tips, then up the limb as far as you can go.”

Reassuring the victim is a key priority, as venom is dispersed by the lymphatic vessels, limiting movement of the victim will help limit the venom from travelling throughout the body.

Once the victim has been firmly bandaged, splint the affected limb, to further minimise movement.

"Rest her, lie her down, keep the limb flat and keep the victim calm.”

More than 120 species of snakes live in Queensland, with around 65 per cent of them venomous.

For a full demonstration of snake bite first aid, head to the QAS Facebook page.


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