What to do with a snake bite and how to distinguish a snake from a viper – May 19, 2023
The snakebite season has begun. And if the snakes that can be seen in our forests are safe for humans, then a meeting with a viper can result in serious health consequences. How to avoid meeting a snake? What can and can not be done with a bite? Colleagues from “Dr. Peter“,”Around the world” And 76.u.
There are about four thousand species of snakes in the world, and poisonous ones make up about a quarter of them. At the same time, only a specialist can sometimes distinguish a poisonous snake from its harmless sister: some harmless ones look almost the same as deadly ones – this allows them to defend themselves from predators.
However, sometimes it is not difficult to determine the problem of a snake by external signs. For example, several species of poisonous reptiles from the viper family live on the territory of Russia. Their distinguishing features are a triangular shaped head, wider than the torso, and, if this is not enough for you to determine, vertical pupils. But please don’t pick up the snake to look it in the eye! It can also be distinguished by the tail: vipers can have bright yellow or orange spots on it. But this sign is not very reliable.
Such signs distinguish all representatives of this vast family of reptiles from snakes, which are also found in the Leningrad region.
– If you were bitten by a snake and you did not understand whether it was a viper or a viper, you need to look at the bite. From the snake there are scratches, and from the viper – one or two red dots. If you smell the site of a viper bite, you can smell the spicy smell of cloves,” said Elena Anashkina, candidate of biological sciences, head of the department of zoology at the Yaroslavl State Pedagogical University.
The venom of the viper is of a mixed type, it destroys blood cells and the nervous system. And in a matter of hours. The permeability of blood vessels decreases in the victim, the limbs swell, bruises and bruises appear all over the body, and the skin becomes so shiny that they say “mirror-like” about it.
As the chief toxicologist of St. Petersburg, the head of the department of clinical toxicology at the Research Institute for Emergency Medicine, Alexei Lodyagin, said earlier, about a dozen victims of snakes, most often from vipers, are brought to the institute during the season.
Usually, a person develops severe swelling at the site of the bite, pain occurs, nausea or vomiting may occur, but the body temperature does not rise high – usually not higher than 37.5 degrees.
According to the toxicologist, the introduction of “anti-viper” serum is not always required. It depends on how fast the edema spreads. As a rule, such patients are injected with tetanus toxoid or tetanus toxoid, if the victim does not have chronic diseases, and hyperbaric oxygenation is also used – oxygen saturation of tissues. Treatment in such cases can take 10-14 days.
It also happens that the snake bites, but the poison does not inject. Doctors call this a “dry bite.” However, you should not hope for this – and it is better to take action.
When bitten by a snake, Alexey Lodyagin advises to act as follows:
- Call an ambulance right away.
- Before the arrival of the brigade “03” move as little as possible. When biting into the hand, it is better to give it the so-called middle position – tie it to a scarf in a bent form. And if you bite in the leg – lay the victim horizontally.
- Drink water to speed up the elimination of poison from the body.
- Take an antihistamine if you are prone to an allergic reaction.
Ekaterina Sinitsyna, an ambulance paramedic, in her telegram channel also advises adhering to the following rules.
- Reassure the victim or calm yourself if this has happened to you. It is necessary to avoid tantrums and keep in mind that not all bites lead to poisoning.
Immediately remove rings, bracelets, and other jewelry from the affected arm. With a snake bite, swelling is very likely, and all this will interfere with blood circulation.
If the snake is dead, take a picture of it – this may help doctors identify it.
First, in no case do not apply a tourniquet. Metabolic products that have accumulated in the blood during the clamping of the arm or leg, after removing the tourniquet, can only worsen the condition, says Alexei Lodyagin.
Do not use the popular advice – do not suck the poison out of the wound. There is no guarantee that you do not have wounds or damage to the oral mucosa, and the poison will not enter the bloodstream anyway.
“Studies have shown that all of these methods are ineffective, and some are even dangerous: they lead to infection and increased bleeding. The imposition of a tourniquet on the affected leg or arm worsens the condition of the victim, provokes gangrenous phenomena (especially with bites of vipers, vipers), increases the possibility of death. With suction, no more than 20 percent of the poison can be evacuated, but the danger of infection of the wound from a bite is very high, ”warned Ekaterina Sinitsyna.
And, of course, do not drink alcohol.
Snakes bite a person spontaneously, and not preying on us on purpose. Therefore, in most cases, the most effective way to protect against trouble is our own reasonable behavior.
Accustom yourself and your children to the reflex: you noticed a snake – quietly move away from it. In no case do not touch and do not try to take it in your hands. In addition, reasonable behavior should be understood as the following measures:
- When heading into the forest, wear sturdy, closed shoes.
- Remember that snakes like to rest in all kinds of hollows, holes in stumps and fallen logs. They will react aggressively to an attempt to disturb them. And we understand them.
- When walking in the forest, do not try to move quietly. Remember that snakes don’t like noise and usually retreat from the clearing or path at the first sign of an intrusion.
- Before you bend down for a mushroom or sit down by a bush with lingonberries, rustle around with a stick – it is likely that a snake has warmed up in the leaves nearby.
- Remember to check shoes, jackets or blankets thrown on the ground, sleeping bags and the corners of the tent before you take them – a snake can get there.