Snake Bites

Seek medical attention as soon as possible (dial 113 or call local Emergency Medical Services (EMS))

Take a photograph of the snake from a safe distance if possible. Identifying the snake can help with treatment of the snakebite.

Keep calm.

Apply first aid while waiting for EMS staff to get you to the hospital.

  • Lay or sit down with the bite in a neutral position of comfort.
  • Remove rings and watches before swelling starts.
  • Wash the bite with soap and water.
  • Cover the bite with a clean, dry dressing.
  • Mark the leading edge of tenderness/swelling on the skin and write the time alongside it.

Do NOT do any of the following:

  • Do not pick up the snake or try to trap it. NEVER handle a venomous snake, not even a dead one or its decapitated head.
  • Do not wait for symptoms to appear if bitten, get medical help right away.
  • Do not apply a tourniquet.
  • Do not slash the wound with a knife or cut it in any way.
  • Do not try to suck out the venom.
  • Do not apply ice or immerse the wound in water.
  • Do not drink alcohol as a painkiller.
  • Do not take pain relievers (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen).
  • Do not apply electric shock or folk therapies.
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