Eastern brown snake
You have just been bitten by a small snake. You are pretty certain it is just a harmless python, but it disappeared before you could get a proper look. Do you administer first aid and go to the hospital or keep gardening?
The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) updated guidelines for treating snake bites
· Do NOT wash the area of the bite or try to suck out the venom. It is extremely important to retain traces of venom for use with venom identification kits.
· Do NOT incise or cut the bite, or apply a high tourniquet. Cutting or incising the bite won't help. High tourniquets are ineffective and can be fatal if released.
· Do bandage firmly, splint and immobilise to stop the spread of venom. All the major medical associations recommend slowing the spread of venom by placing a folded pad over the bite area and then applying a firm bandage. It should not stop blood flow to the limb or congest the veins. Only remove the bandage in a medical facility, as the release of pressure will cause a rapid flow of venom through the bloodstream.
· Do NOT allow the victim to walk or move their limbs. Use a splint or sling to minimise all limb movement. Put the patient on a stretcher or bring transportation to the patient.
· Do seek medical help immediately as the venom can cause severe damage to health and even death within a few hours.