Snake Bites

Provided by Terry King, Commander Clinical Practices for Williamson County EMS

The DO's:

  • Get away from the snake – insure the scene is safe.
  • Note your location, call EMS. If no phone coverage, send someone back to trail head as you continue to try to get phone coverage as they travel back to the trail head.
  • For the victim, keep him/her calm, recline or sit but keep the bite area below the heart. Do not ambulate!
  • Wash the wound with water and soap. If no soap, OK to use antiseptic wipes in the first aid kit.
  • Mark the skin with a pen (ink pen or sharpie) around the bite wound, note the time. Then, every 10 minutes, mark the edge of the swelling and note the time. This helps the medical team know how much antivenin to give initially.
  • If you have others around and you are able, carry the victim back to the trail head. Only do this if you can adequately carry the victim. Do not let the victim walk. Keep them calm.

The DON'T DO's:

  • NO ice to the bite, ice slows down the circulation, causes concentration of venom and more damage.
  • NO cutting on the bite. Cutting could cause more harm than good.
  • NO sucking out the venom. Could be dangerous for the other person and not proven to get venom out.
  • NO tourniquet. Could cause more harm than good.
  • NO elevation above the heart. Could accelerate the venom if bite wound is above the heart.
  • NO wrapping the bite unless it is a coral snake bite. (Because there are different types of venom for coral snakes it could be helpful.)

Click Here to watch an excellent video on snake bites from Williamson County.

Sun City Resource Guide and Directory 2018/2019: Page 60, has pictures of snakes and info for Free Snake Removal. Also, Free Snake Removal in Sun Rays and on Sun City website.