What to do if you are bitten by a snake - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

What to do if you are bitten by a snake

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

According to Linda Brown, Director of Emergency Services at Southeast Health in Cape Girardeau, many of the at home treatments for snake bites could do more harm than good.

Brown said things like trying to suck the venom out, putting a tourniquet on, or using a 'snake bite' kit, are not the right things to do.

"They're actually outdated," Brown said about 'snake bite kits.' "Those were the result of things that were probably in the late 20's or early 30's and so they've kind of just stayed around."

Brown said there is also no need to track the snake down and bring it in because the hospital will know what snakes are in the area. She does, however, point out that if the snake is dead and can be easily transferred, it would not hurt to bring it.

Not every snake is venomous, but the bacteria from their mouth could still harm you.

"So it's better to come and be evaluated and then let the professionals determine what level of care you need to have," Brown said. "The saddest thing is to have someone think 'well it's probably not poisonous I'm going to wait a few day's and they do and by that time even if it's not poisonous you can have a significant infection in the deep tissue of a hand, forearm, leg and still end up with significant tissue loss."

Brown recommended washing the wound if you can and heading to the nearest hospital for treatment.

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