Saturday, August 8, 2015

First Aid in Snake Bite

On the opposite side of the leaflet on Preventing Snake Bites is the First Aid which is to be done in case of a snake bite.

The pictures here have been taken from the website - where it is attributed to the Nisarga Vidnayan Sanstha. Unfortunately, our printers did not add the acknowledgement for the cartoons when the final printing was done although it was there in the final proof. 

The English translation of the leaflet is as follows - 

1. Keep the patient calm and reassure him. Please note that 70% of snake bites are caused by non-poisonous snakes and of the rest 30%, only half of them would have features of envenomation.

2. Keep the patient quiet. Don't move the site of the bite. If the bite is on the arm, put a splint. If on the leg, splint the limb and don't allow the patient to walk. There is no advantage of putting a tight tourniquet proximal to the site of bite, rather it would do harm.

3. Go as soon as possible to a hospital which has ASV available. Use whatever means of transport is available.

4. It is harmful to put nicks or cuts on or around the bite site. It is also not advisable to wash the wound. Both these practices ensures that the venom spreads fast all over the body.

5. Please note that even after you reach the hospital, treatment with Anti-snake venom is started only when signs/evidence of venom envenomation is noted. It is dangerous to inject Anti-snake venom without signs/evidence of envenomation.

6. It is good to be kept under medical observation for 12-24 hours after the bite. There are some snakes like Krait where the symptoms of envenomation may be observed only after 6-24 hours.

7. It is better to keep a snake bite victim nil per orally until the doctor allows to eat orally.

8. Please remove ornaments like rings, bangles, wrist bands etc. if any near the bite site as swelling of the bite site can cause problems with their removal later.  

Please feel free to use the material to print your own 'first aid for snake bite' leaflets. However, as noted above, you'll need to take permission to use the cartoons.


  1. Very good information. Thank you, Dr.Jeevan.

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