A bite from any snake, however rare, is always potentially fatal. Death can occur from the venom of a poisonous snake, or it can occur as a result of an allergic reaction to the bite of a non-venomous snake.
The symptoms are a result of the venom released into the person’s blood when a snake bites them.
It is essential to be conscious of the danger signs and symptoms that point towards a snake bite, as recognizing these signs and symptoms can aid in the diagnosis if the patient is unconscious, or unable to give a history of a snake bite. The following signs and symptoms are generally found as a result of a snake bite:
- Two puncture wounds
- Swelling and redness around the wounds
- Pain at the bite site
- Difficulty breathing
- Vomiting and nausea
- Blurred vision
- Sweating and salivating
- Numbness in the face and limbs
The signs and symptoms differ according to the type of snake.
There are no diagnostic tests that can help us diagnose snake bites, but history and signs and symptoms are usually enough to diagnose a snake bite.
Prompt first aid is necessary to manage snake bites, as all snake bites have the potential to cause death. The following first aid protocol should be followed:
- Call for help immediately
- Note the time of the bite
- Keep calm and still as movement can cause the venom to travel more quickly through the body
- Remove constricting clothing or jewelry because the area surrounding the bite will likely swell
- Take a picture of the snake if you can but don’t waste time hunting it down
To treat a snake bite, a doctor will usually administer antivenom, to antagonize the venom.