We have updated our requirements in relation to snake bite treatment
The AeroForm Premium Long Snake Bite Bandage with Indicators is a premium heavyweight conforming bandage for use with the Pressure Immobilisation Technique, used for the treatment of all Australian Snakes.
One 10 cm x 10.5 m stretched bandage is of sufficient length to bandage a large adult leg or two 10 cm x 4.5 m stretched.
Alternatively you can use two 10 cm x 2 m SMART Pressure Snake bandages.
The SMART Bandage uses a pictogram to demonstrate how to achieve correct tension when applying a pressure immobilisation bandage – a critical factor in snake bite first aid. The pressure bandage helps you keep calm and focused with the rectangle pictogram becoming a square to let you know when optimal tension has been achieved.
The SMART Bandage also doubles as a compression bandage in your first aid kit for major wounds, sprains and strains. It’s recommended to always carry at least two SMART Bandages with you, so these can be applied above and below the bite or wound in the case of a snake bite emergency.
Pressure snake bandages are available from Bogong Equipment or pharmacies.
White or brown crepe/elasticised bandages are NOT acceptable.
Please watch this video on snake bite bandaging https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUkEZu7lwo4
Treatment In the 1980s a technique called Pressure immobilisation bandaging was developed to further retard venom movement. It completely stops venom /lymph transport toward the blood stream. A firm roll bandage is applied directly over the bite site (don’t wash the area).
Technique: Three steps: keep them still
- Step 1: Apply a bandage over the bite site, to an area about 10 cm above and below the bite.
- Step 2: Use another elastic roller bandage and apply a firm wrap from fingers/toes all the way to the armpit/groin. The bandage needs to be firm, but not so tight that it causes fingers or toes to turn purple or white. About the tension of a sprain bandage.
- Step 3: Splint the limb so the patient can’t walk or bend the limb. Keep still!
- Cut, incise or suck the venom.
- EVER use a tourniquet.
- Remove the shirt or pants—just bandage over the top of clothing.
- Remember movement (like wriggling out of a shirt or pants) causes venom movement.
- DO NOT try to catch, kill or identify the snake!!! This is important.
In hospital we NO LONGER NEED to know the type of snake. New Antivenom neutralises the venoms of all the 5 listed snake genus, so it doesn’t matter what snake bit the patient. Polyvalent is our one shot wonder, stocked in all hospitals, so most hospitals no longer stock specific Antivenins.
Australian snakes tend to have 3 main effects in differing degrees.
- Bleeding—internally and bruising.
- Muscles paralysed causing difficulty talking, moving & breathing.
- Pain, in some snakes severe muscle pain in the limb, and days later the bite site can break down forming a nasty wound.
Kingston/Robe Health Advisor