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Venomous Encounters: First Aid for Snake Bites

first aid for snake bites

Snakes are fascinating creatures. But let’s not forget that they can also be dangerous. A snake bite is not something that happens often. Some snakes have venom that can harm or even kill humans if they bite them.

Being prepared to handle emergencies like snake bites is important. The American HealthCare Academy offers online First Aid and CPR combo courses for both medical and non-medical individuals. Whether you have a medical background or not, our courses are designed to help you learn how to respond in critical situations. You’ll gain the knowledge and skills to provide immediate care when it matters most. Enroll in our online course today and learn first aid for snake bites.

The different types of snake bites

Snake bites are either venomous or dry. Venomous snake bites mean that the snake has injected venom into your body. Dry snake bites mean that no venom is injected. Venomous snake bites are more serious and need immediate medical attention. Dry snake bites are less serious but still need to be cleaned and checked by a doctor.

Symptoms of snake bites

The symptoms of snake bites depend on the type of snake and the amount of venom injected. Some common symptoms of venomous snakebite are:

  • Pain and swelling around the bite area
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness and blurred vision
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Muscle weakness or paralysis

Some venomous snake bites may not cause any symptoms at first, but can still be life-threatening. That is why it is important to seek medical help as soon as possible after any snake bite.

First aid for snake bites

Snake bites are scary, but knowing what to do in an emergency can make a big difference.  If you or someone else is bitten by a snake, here are first aid steps for snake bite treatment:

  • Stay calm: It’s important to stay calm. You must avoid panicking as well. This will help slow down the spread of venom in your body.
  • Call for help: Dial emergency services or seek medical assistance immediately. Time is crucial, and professional help is essential in treating snake bites.
  • Keep still and limit movement: Immobilize the site of the bite and try to keep it as still as possible. Moving around can cause the venom to spread more quickly through your bloodstream.
  • Remove constrictive clothing or jewelry: If possible, remove any tight clothing or jewelry near the bite area. This is important as swelling may occur.
  • Position yourself properly: Keep the bitten limb at or below the level of your heart. This should be done to slow down the spread of venom in the body.
  • Clean the wound: Wash the snake bite with mild soap and water. Avoid using alcohol or other disinfectants as they may increase the risk of tissue damage.
  • Apply a sterile bandage: Use a clean, sterile bandage to cover the wound. Make sure it’s not too tight to restrict blood flow.
  • Do not suck or cut the wound: These methods are ineffective and can introduce infection.
  • Observe and monitor: Keep a close eye on the person bitten. Look for signs of severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, changes in heart rate, or loss of consciousness.

A pressure bandage is a tight bandage that slows the spreading of venom in the body. Follow these steps to apply a pressure bandage:

  • Wrap a bandage over the bite mark itself. It should be tight enough so that you cannot easily slide a finger under it.
  • Wrap another bandage around the whole limb, starting from the fingers or toes and moving up to the body.
  • Use a splint or a stick to keep the limb straight and still.


Snake bites can be scary, but they can also be treated if you know what to do. Remember to call for help, stay calm, and apply a pressure bandage. Do not do anything that can make the bite worse. By following these first aid strategies, you can increase your chances of survival and recovery from a snake bite.