BE SAFE: A Warwick doctor has offered his advice for snake bite victims should the worst happen this summer.
BE SAFE: A Warwick doctor has offered his advice for snake bite victims should the worst happen this summer. Contributed

What to do if you get bitten by a snake in Warwick

THE sun is starting to swelter overhead, which means conditions are ripe for snakes to be slivering around the Southern Downs right now.

Snake bites have already started to strike around the region.

Just this week a woman was rushed to Warwick Hospital after being bitten on the foot, luckily she was in a stable condition and just required observation.

With the whole family venturing outdoors during the holidays to enjoy the weather, it's important to know what to do if a loved one is bitten by a slippery creature.

Warwick Hospital Senior Medical Officer Dr Chris Hegerty said the first port of call if someone was bitten by a snake was to call an ambulance to get to the closest hospital or doctor.

The victim should also be kept as immobile as possible so the venom is not pumped through the body.

"This means they should be carried to a close-by vehicle for transport if possible,” Dr Hegerty said.

"A crepe bandage or other kind of material should be wrapped right around the affected limb if possible, similar to how you would bandage a sprained ankle.”

Washing the wound might also seem like a good idea, but Dr Hegerty warned it could actually thwart treatment later on.

"Do not wash the bite wound area as venom on the skin can be used to identify the snake to determine what sort of antivenin should be administered,” he said.

"We don't advise people to try and chase the snake or bring it in for identification due to the risk of further bites and the delay in receiving medical attention.”

Dr Hegerty said a snake bite could end differently for everyone, so if a bite is suspected it is better to err on the side of caution and seek medical advice.



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