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How do I give first aid for a snakebite?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Start by immobilizing the bitten area and placing it below the heart. This reduces swelling and, on the rare chance that the snakebite is poisonous, assists in keeping the poison from spreading. Clean the wound and apply a bandage. Do not use a tourniquet, ice, or try to extract the venom. You should also avoid caffeine and alcohol. Lastly, try to remember what the snake looked like so you can describe it to emergency medical personnel, which may help them in deciding your treatment.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.