This Really Bites Part 2 (Venomous)

Isn’t it kind of strange that it’s the smaller creatures that seem to be more deadly? I guess they need the deadly venom to defend themselves from larger things. Unfortunately, sometimes they see people are the larger thing to defend against.

Being bitten or stung by a venomous anything can involve different symptoms depending on the creature. Typically, a victim tends to show symptoms that you would expect: pain, swelling, bleeding, nausea, and vomiting. But they may have issues breathing or swallowing and may become weak or confused. There’s also the risk of anaphylactic shock.

Always assume when struck by a venomous creature that venom was injected. I know it’s difficult and the thought of it is terrifying, but do not panic. That can make things worse in many ways. Call for an ambulance immediately. The victim needs to stay as still as possible to slow the spread of the venom. Next, pressure needs to be put on the bite with a compression/pressure immobilisation bandage. When done properly, you shouldn’t be able to slide a finger under the bandage easily. Wrap starting from the bitten limb up (from fingers to shoulder or toes to thighs) and splint the limb including around the joint. We do not want this person to be able to move the limb. They need to relax and hold still as much as possible. Also, try to mark the bite site over the bandage to let the medical professionals know where the victim was injured.

Realistically speaking, it’s highly unlikely that a person bitten by a spider or snake will. Only two people per year die of snake bites and there hasn’t been a spider bite related death in Australia since 1979. You would have to be ignoring all warnings from the animal, ignore basic first aid guidelines, and refuse to call emergency services. It’s still a good idea to know how to deal with this though. Still, I hope no one has to rely on this information. Be safe.

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