What is Pressure Immobilization?
Pressure immobilization bandaging is a term used to describe the application of a pressure device and immobilization to an affected extremity after a bite in order to delay the total absorption of venom. This practice slows the lymphatic flow, and therefore decreases the body's uptake of venom.
Appling the Pressure Immobilization technique requires a pressure immobilization device such as a bandage, it is critical to achieve the desired results of slowing the toxin that has entered a person’s body. Applying the pressure immobilization bandage properly requires wrapping the entire affected extremity and generating pressures between 40-70 mmHg in the upper extremity and 55-70 mmHg in the lower extremity.
A practical estimation to achieve the correct pressure ranges is to apply the bandage snug and comfortably tight (not too tight because that will cut off circulation.), while still allowing a finger to be slipped under it. Applying the pressure immobilization bandage too loose renders it unproductive, while applying it too tight can create deteriorating tissue damage. Studies have shown that once this technique is learned, there can be poor retention of the skill and inappropriate application is common with a lot whom try to apply this technique.
After the application of the pressure immobilization bandage has been completed, the persons extremity should then be splinted and immobilized as this will help minimize movement in the affected region. A sling is simple to make and can be used to immobilize the upper extremities such as arm on a person. You may also mark the bite sight both on the arm and the bandage to give medical professionals an idea of where the injury is situated. The individual how has been treated with the pressure bandage should then be transported immediately to the nearest health care facility or hospital. Proper removal of the bandage should occur at the health care facility.
The Pressure Immobilization Technique (PIT) is recommended for the application to bites and stings in the following creatures:
All Australian venomous snakes
Funnel Web Spiders
Blue Ringed Octopus
The Pressure immobilzation technique is not recommended for the first aid of:
Other spider bites including redback spider
Fish stings including stonefish bites
Stings from scorpions, centipede or beetles
Bites and stings
Envenomation is the word used to describe the bite or sting from a poisonous animal / insect such as snake, spider, bee or jellyfish. Tens of thousands of bites and stings occur in Australia every year. Australia houses some of the most poisonous land and water animals such as the funnel web spider.
Fast and appropriate first aid management of bites and stings can slow the poison from spreading and SAVE lives.
DO NOT get bitten yourself.
DO NOT suck the venom out.
DO NOT apply a tourniquet, cut or bleed the bite site.
DO NOT wash the bite site or express the venom.
NEVER remove any previously applied bandages.
DO NOT try to catch the snake.
One method for preventing the spread of the venom through the lymphatic system is application of the Pressure Immobilization Technique.
So lets refresh what we have learnt so far:
The Pressure Immobilization Technique is recommended only for use for the following types of bites or stings.
all Australian snake bites, including sea snake bites
funnel web spider bites
bee, wasp, ant stings and Australian paralysis tick envenomation in allergic individuals
blue-ringed octopus bites
cone snail (cone shell) stings.
If a severe allergic reaction occurs, use the Pressure Immobilisation Technique for all bites and stings.
Pressure Immobilisation Technique
The Pressure Immobilization Technique has been proven to be effective if firm pressure is applied to the bite area and the entire limb, and the limb is immobilized.