First Aid

First aid for Copper Head Snake Bite

A copperhead snake is out of hibernation in hot summer months.These are very poisonous snakes found mostly in the Eastern part of United States. These snakes blend well with the environment and it is difficult to identify these snakes. The triangular head and the copper, brown bands are the remarkable features of this snake which helps us in identifying this as the copperhead snake.

Immediate Treatment:

  • Calm the victim.
  • Reassure the victim, saying that bites can be treated.
  • Constricted clothing should be removed as the affected site may swell.
  • If the bitten site has discoloration and swelling, then immediately call for the emergency medical services.
  • Vital signs of the victim should be monitored.
  • Watch for signs of shock. If the victim shows signs of shock, lay the person flat.
  • The foot end should be raised and cover the victim with a warm blanket.
  • The site should be washed with soap and water.
  • Never try to move the area and keep it lower to the heart.
  • The site can be covered with a cool, moist dressing to reduce the swelling.
  • If possible the killed copperhead snake can be shown to a doctor.
  • Do not run to catch the snake because its not a compulsion to get a dead snake.

If the emergency medical services does not reach within 30 minutes, the American Red Cross recommends the following:

  • Bandage can be applied or a cloth can be wrapped 2-4 inches above the site to decrease the spread of snake venom.
  • Suction device can be used to draw the venom out.
  • This device is usually found in snake bite kits.

Dont’s:

  • Never make the person over-exert.
  • Always carry the person to a safer place.
  • Never try applying a tourniquet.
  • The area of the snake bite should never be cut with a razor or knife.
  • Never suck the venom out with mouth.
  • Never give pain killers or any stimulants without the doctor’s prescription.
  • Nothing should be given orally.
  • The bitten area should not be risen above the heart level.

Prevention:

  • Prevent picking and playing with snakes unless you are trained properly.
  • Never try to provoke a snake.
  • Long pants and boots can be worn when going to an area with snakes, especially the copperhead snakes.
  • Avoid rocky places as snakes can be found hiding there.
  • Keep snake bite kit ready to use, in case of emergency.

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