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Venomous snake bites in the wild. Help!

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posted on May, 14 2011 @ 03:42 AM
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As an avid out-doors-men I spend a lot of time during Spring/Summer/Fall hiking, fishing, targeting, occasionally hunting, etc. There are a lot of beautiful places in Washington which I visit at least a dozen times per summer as Eastern Washington Summers average between 90 to 100 degrees fahrenheit. I rarely go out alone just because company during such a peaceful time makes the whole experience about 100 times more enjoyable.

Anyway, out of the three main dangers we face are Coyotes, Badgers, most off the Western Rattlesnake (not to be confused with the Western Diamondback). Every year we have a run in with at least 5 or 6 of the little buggers. I own several guns for personal safety against the wild and almost always keep my Ruger .22 Semi-Auto with me.

I use the CCI Shot Shells (commonly known of as Rat Shot) which is basically a tiny shotgun shell, so rather than shooting one solid slug of lead, it disperses a load of small round steel bearings. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, here's a quick photo, don't mind the poor photo shopping job.



Don't let the out in the open pose fool you, these snakes are very well hidden and camouflage extremely well.


The Shot Shell on the left is what I use.

So far I have only had to take out one of these little guys and while I don't advocate killing wildlife, I would much rather shoot a rattler and feel guilt later than take a bite from one of these babies, google images can provide you with exactly what I mean.

With that said, this Summer a friend and I have a series of hike/camp-outs in the desert lasting several days. Getting to a hospital would take nearly an hour breaking every speed limit known to man, and even at that it can't be guaranteed that you will either live, or not suffer from an amputation. I did some looking around at our local sporting good stores, as well as Wal Man, etc. The only kit I was able to find was this (which I'm sure we've all seen on the shelves at our good ole' Wal Mart:


A complete, compact kit for the treatment of snake bites using the constrictor/suction method. Kit Contains: detailed instructions, three pliable Suction Cups, easy-to-use with one hand lymph constrictor, scalpel and antiseptic swab. , Manufactured by: Coghlans



☠ ↑ Sadly this kit is not a joke. ↑ ☠

Every professional herpetologist site I have found warn you to A) never use a tourniquet B0 Never attempt to cut the site of the bite and C) Never attempt to suck the venom out. I have a hard time believing what I read on the back of a Chinese made snake bite kit, however extracting the by any means necessary does make sense.

A snake can strike half its body length in under a second and I assure you John Wayne Himself couldn't access his side arm in enough time to hit a snake before the snake hit him. I would like to be a bit more prepared before kicking the year off... In Washington State the only documented venomous snake we have is the Western Rattlesnake (while unconfirmed reports of water moccasins up not have been claimed). All anti-venom is varies depending on the snake, but it would be nice to know where to obtain a vial along with precise dosage instructions in the event of worse case scenario.

Any of you survivalists have a tip or two? It would be greatly appreciated! In return I promise to post some high-res (from a distance) photos of these beautiful snakes.

Thanks a lot!

- NWD
edit on 14-5-2011 by NewWorldDisorder because: (no reason given)

edit on 14-5-2011 by NewWorldDisorder because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 14 2011 @ 03:52 AM
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Originally posted by NewWorldDisorder
Getting to a hospital would take nearly an hour breaking every speed limit known to man



The only thing I can suggest here is finding somewhere closer (local doctor?) that can do the job.
It doesnt have to be a hospital.
Even if you find someone legally able to do the job (antivenin is supposedly illegal to self-administer) but doesnt have any antivenin in stock, you might be able to come to some agreement whereby they do get some stock on hand.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 03:56 AM
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I catch and release rattlesnakes as a function of my job. The only thing I could recommend in the absence of medical care is to dress properly, over ankle boots and jeans (you can buy leg guards as part of your kit as well) when you travel through areas which provide good camouflage.

Prevention is the key here.

Having a walking stick is great idea as well. When I respond to a call and have to hunt for the snake I tap around my path constantly, slap bushes and generally make a ruckus. I want that snake to know I am there. He will warn me in kind, usually.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 03:58 AM
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reply to post by NewWorldDisorder
 


I used to live on a property in outback Aus and we had a medical box with some anti's which werent to be used unless we identified the snake that had bitten someone, so it was never used. We just bandaged snake bites and called a flying doctor or went to town for help. Really your best bet is to slow the blood flow to the affected area, and try and restrict the poison spreading until you reach a hospital.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 03:59 AM
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rattlers are extremely sneaky,sometimes they dont even rattle till your within striking distance,they are big problem here in the summer time,matter fact 3 snake bites have happened here in the past 2 days,sadly two were fatal,to anyone out hiking in rattler country watch where you step!



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 03:59 AM
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rattlers are extremely sneaky,sometimes they dont even rattle till your within striking distance,they are big problem here in the summer time,matter fact 3 snake bites have happened here in the past 2 days,sadly two were fatal,to anyone out hiking in rattler country watch where you step!



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 04:02 AM
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I'll definitely be watching this thread for ideas, as well.

Hopefully there's some help to be had, for sure.

I agree with one of the folks above... make a LOT of noise. Whenever out hiking, I make sure to do a pretty good stomp every dozen steps or so, just to warn any slithers around that I am there, and give em time to wander away.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 04:07 AM
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Originally posted by alfa1

Originally posted by NewWorldDisorder
Getting to a hospital would take nearly an hour breaking every speed limit known to man



The only thing I can suggest here is finding somewhere closer (local doctor?) that can do the job.
It doesnt have to be a hospital.
Even if you find someone legally able to do the job (antivenin is supposedly illegal to self-administer) but doesnt have any antivenin in stock, you might be able to come to some agreement whereby they do get some stock on hand.


True, for some reason I have always had it in my head that something of this nature could only be handled by a hospital emergency room. I'll bet even a vet would help in a pinch.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 04:08 AM
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Originally posted by Fiberx
I catch and release rattlesnakes as a function of my job. The only thing I could recommend in the absence of medical care is to dress properly, over ankle boots and jeans (you can buy leg guards as part of your kit as well) when you travel through areas which provide good camouflage.

Prevention is the key here.

Having a walking stick is great idea as well. When I respond to a call and have to hunt for the snake I tap around my path constantly, slap bushes and generally make a ruckus. I want that snake to know I am there. He will warn me in kind, usually.


Sounds like you've got quite a job, I'll be thinking of you next time I'm drinking my coffee upgrading memory in a customers computer, lol.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 04:13 AM
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One plus is in the south we have rattler, copperhead and cotton mouth anti venom available everywhere. I have been bitten around 85+ times by cotton mouths while hunting or fishing. Every time I always wore snake boots which came up to my knees and each time they kept the snake from penetrating. Use boots or chaps, a wonderful investment.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 04:14 AM
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reply to post by Fiberx
 



Here's a photo of the boots I wear, think I should upgrade?
edit on 14-5-2011 by NewWorldDisorder because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 04:28 AM
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Hey good post man. I just wanted to know what company makes the snake bite kit? I’d like to get to their website and browse their survival products. They sell awesoem flints but their products are not easily found here.

On topic: I don’t have the answer to your question, IMO I think its best to carry antivenin of the 5 deadliest snakes in your area with you during your excursions. It may be expensive and take some time to find, but its probably the ultimate way of making sure you survive.

BUT I do have a story about a black mamba I’d like to share. It may help
This was when I was still a journalist on the south coast of South Africa. Call came in about an old man who was bitten by the 2.5m snake.
AS it turned out, the guy’s granddaughter had been watching tv in the lounge when the mamba came slithering in. She screamed to her grandfather who came rushing n with a spade. In a matter of seconds the mamba had wrapped itself around the old mans legs with bit him once on the inner thigh on both legs. Damn accurate hit for a snake.

The snake left and the old man got into his car and drove to his doctor about 10min away. The doctor takes one look at the 50 y/o guy and said there’s nothing I can do for you here. So the ballie got back in his car and drove to the hospital.

When he got there they dint have the antivenin but did what they could for him. The front page story ran that Thursday, “Man Survives Double Black Mamba Bite”. By Monday the guy was still doing well but on machines. When they finally gave him the antivenin there were complications and the guy passed away. Brave guy.

Meanwhile, I had driven to the local snake park “Pure Venom”, where the local snake wrangler had captured the snake. The snake was about 2.5m long and as thick as your wrist. He said that the black mamba has a different bone structure which makes them incredibly fast. Taking close up pics of the snake had my heart racing like crazy.

This is the snake that killed a man.



Spoke to a doctor friend about it afterwards and she said that the guy had an allergic reaction to the antivenin and they should never have given it to him. She said the venom causes the organs to stop functioning, but that it would have worked itself out of the body had they just kept the old guy on the machines. Both the hospital and the family of the man refused to comment any further.

edit on 14-5-2011 by Monkeygod333 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 04:37 AM
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Originally posted by NewWorldDisorder
True, for some reason I have always had it in my head that something of this nature could only be handled by a hospital emergency room. I'll bet even a vet would help in a pinch.


I really don't know. Poisonous snakes are not common around my area, but here is a thought-


a series of hike/camp-outs in the desert lasting several days.

Obviously, I do not know the area where you are going. Based on this statement, I feel it is safe to assume a remote area, but that does not mean there are no locals near the area.

Depending on how far you are actually traveling away from home; If it is not too far, it may not be a bad idea to head over there one weekend, and check the place out. Talk to some locals in the nearby vicinity. May possibly get good advice on anti-venom. Might even get lucky and find someone that lives nearby, that keeps their own personal stock of anti-venom.

Just a thought. Many factors that I do not know, could make this idea completely irrelevant.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 10:30 AM
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If I were in your situation, my idea would be to have with me on hand a 'cupping' cup (used in chinese medicine and as an alternative medical therapy). You would place this plastic or glass cup on the bite and it creates a vacuum and draws out toxic blood, and if applied very quickly after a snake bite, could buy you valuable time to get medical help. Here is a link to see what I am talking about:

www.cuppingtherapy.net...

www.youtube.com...

The video I found on youtube doesn't show much bleeding, but usually about 2-3 teaspoons of blood is drained from the site.

I know this is a pretty crazy idea, but, like I said, if it was me, and I am a nursing student, I would definately have this available in a first aid kit to use immediately after a bite. I've had this technique done of myself when I am getting acupuncture, and the accupuncturist will lance my skin, and then immediately apply the suction cup to the area lanced, and the suction draws all the old toxic blood out of the area, it's pretty gross and fun to watch! I would also put a turniquet around the area proximal to the heart to restrict any further blood flow back to the heart. I think in an emergency situation, this would work for you, at least buy you time to get medical attention.

Linda



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 10:40 AM
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Originally posted by Fiberx
I catch and release rattlesnakes as a function of my job. The only thing I could recommend in the absence of medical care is to dress properly, over ankle boots and jeans (you can buy leg guards as part of your kit as well) when you travel through areas which provide good camouflage.

Prevention is the key here.

Having a walking stick is great idea as well. When I respond to a call and have to hunt for the snake I tap around my path constantly, slap bushes and generally make a ruckus. I want that snake to know I am there. He will warn me in kind, usually.


Agree, wear thick boots and leggings.......preferably leather or some kind of strong material that the snake can't readily bite through. Wear to at least the knee and all around leg..............this probably will not be comfortable but will most likely prevent a through the clothes bite



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 10:42 AM
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www.snakeguardz.com...

here are examples of snake guards.......



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 02:29 PM
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Straight from my old combat medic school textbook, with annotation from me based on personal experience.

1) Call medical Direction (Me: Generally speaking, even if you can't get to a hospital, most 911 services will patch you through to a doctor for emergency medical direction)

2) Treat for shock, conserve body heat, and keep the patient calm.

3) Locate the fang marks and clean with soap and water (Me: This is to prevent infection in the even of prolonged isolation from a hospital, as well as to get excess venom off of the site)

4) Remove rings, bracelets, etc, from the bitten limb. (Me: Do yourself a favor and remove the boot as well unless you have trauma scissors to safely cut the boot off later)

5)Keep the bitten limb immobilized, preferably with a splint. Try to keep the bite level with the heart. If that isn't possible, try to keep it below the heart.

6) Place constricting bands above and below the wound. (Me: ok, there is some controversy here. I've treated quite a few snakebites in the field, and I've always used constricting bands. I never lost a soldier due to a bite, and I've never had a soldier lose a limb to a bite. However, do what the medical control doctor on the phone tells you to do. If they say withhold treatment, you do so. Also, the constricting bands are NOT tourniquets. You're not trying to cut off blood flow. They should be about one inch wide and of soft rubber or cloth. They should be placed two inches above and below the bite, but not on either side of a joint. For example, if you are bitten on the knee, DO NOT put the bands above and below the knee. The bands should be snug, but not tight enough to cut off blood flow. Check for a pulse in the lower limb after applying the bands. If the limb starts to swell, loosen the bands accordingly. Once again, some medics don't like using constricting bands, some medics love them. I fall into the latter category. However, if you call 911 and they tell you not to use them, listen to them.

All of the above information is subject to change from medical control. Do what the doctor tells you.



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 05:22 PM
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I know this will very much irritate some people but to me the only good snake is a dead snake.

Yeah, yeah, I know they have a job to do in the ecosystem and if you don't bother them they usually won't bother you...blah...blah...blah....

If I can see a snake it bothers me.....period.

Snakes are my one fear.

While riding my ATV last summer I ran over the tail of a 6' Western Diamond Back rattlesnake. It struck back and hit my ATV about 8" from my left leg and then took off towards some brush.

The first round in my .44 Bulldog is always a snake shot round (when in the desert) and I shot the bugger.

He tasted wonderful.

Anyone who hasn't tried rattlesnake really should, you'd be surprised how good it is.



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 06:11 PM
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reply to post by NewWorldDisorder
 


Here's a trick I use while hiking that has seemed to work. If you feel you're in a snake's area, just stomp the ground really hard. That's the equivalent to announcing to the snake you are in its territory. Most of the time, they will pick up on the vibrations and leave the area. I've actually used it in my uncles garden and it worked well. They don't want trouble any more than you do. Also, not every bite is going to be poisonous. I read it's like one out of every four bites is a dry one if the snake is on the defense.

Here's a good source:

www.whmentors.org...


Pit vipers generally inject large amounts of venom into hunting bites, but oftentimes little or no venom into defensive bites. In fact, up to 25% of pit viper bites in humans are non-venomous "dry bites". A provoked and angered snake, however, might not only "load up" to be quite venomous, but may also strike several times!


More from the source:


There have been many snake bite remedies offered over the years. Recent studies have concluded that the following protocols are best: (Note 1)

Stay calm, get safely away from the snake, and have someone call 9-1-1 (or the emergency number in your area). The less the victim moves the bitten site, the less likely the venom will be profused and cause damage.

Have the victim lie down with the affected limb lower than the heart. Keep the limb immobilized. If practical, splint the limb.

Treat for shock and preserve body heat.

Remove any rings, bracelets, boots, or other restricting items from the bitten extremity. (It WILL swell.) Apply a light constricting band about 2" above and below the bite, however never place the bands on either side of a joint (such as above and below the knee or elbow). This band should be made up of wide, soft material, that could be a handkerchief or shredded clothing. The band should only be as tight as the band the nurse applies when giving a blood test.



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 08:30 PM
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Originally posted by mwood


Snakes are my one fear.

While riding my ATV last summer I ran over the tail of a 6' Western Diamond Back rattlesnake. It struck back and hit my ATV about 8" from my left leg and then took off towards some brush.

The first round in my .44 Bulldog is always a snake shot round (when in the desert) and I shot the bugger.

He tasted wonderful.

Anyone who hasn't tried rattlesnake really should, you'd be surprised how good it is.



You fear snakes yet eat them? hahah NICE!! I agree I would shoot them too. I go in the mountains close to the city and always see them at night. scary thought.. I heard antivenin has a shelf life and must be refrigerated? hmmm better start googling..




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