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#123855 - 02/14/08 05:25 PM Re: Immediate action for a snake bite? [Re: Hikin_Jim]
JCWohlschlag Offline
Some guy who wandered in…
Old Hand

Registered: 11/26/06
Posts: 724
Loc: Dallas, Pennsylvania, United S...
Originally Posted By: Hikin_Jim
I just took a WFA (Wilderness First Aid) class this past summer. They recommended no tourniquets, splinting, cooling, cutting, or sucking. They recommended keeping the victim calm and evacuating to the nearest medical facility where antivenin (aka anti venom) was available.

I haven’t taken a Wilderness First Aid course as of yet, so I cannot speak from experience, but I thought the premise of a Wilderness First Aid course was one that medical evacuation is improbable or impossible. Being evacuated to a hospital is part of normal first aid and applies pretty much to anything greater than a basic paper-cut.
“Hiking is just walking where it’s okay to pee. Sometimes old people hike by mistake.” — Demitri Martin

#124888 - 02/22/08 09:59 PM Re: Immediate action for a snake bite? [Re: JCWohlschlag]
Hikin_Jim Offline

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: JCWohlschlag
I haven’t taken a Wilderness First Aid course as of yet, so I cannot speak from experience, but I thought the premise of a Wilderness First Aid course was one that medical evacuation is improbable or impossible. Being evacuated to a hospital is part of normal first aid and applies pretty much to anything greater than a basic paper-cut.

I think that the cold, hard reality is that you really can't do much for a snake bite victim in the field. This is also true with severe hypothermia. If you've got a cell or sat phone (inclding SPOT), you may be able to get someone choppered out. Also a PLB would summon help, possibly a chopper in a remote area.
Adventures In Stoving

#125421 - 02/27/08 10:28 AM Re: Immediate action for a snake bite? [Re: JCWohlschlag]
aardwolfe Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 923
Loc: St. John's, Newfoundland
I took a Wilderness First Aid course - in fact, I took the instructor's course and was qualified to teach it at one point, although I quit the organization shortly thereafter due to being fed up with their internal politics.

Part of the course covered evacuation - the pros and cons of various methods of evacuation, such as horseback, travois, canoe, rowboat, ATV, how to select a good helicopter landing site, etc. We also practised building and carrying makeshift stretchers, how to carry them over rough terrain, how to rotate stretcher bearers so that they don't get overtired, and so on.

It was impressed on us that a WFA course is not a wilderness survival course. The distinction between regular first aid and wilderness first aid is largely a matter of how far from civilization you are. A regular first aid course assumes that an ambulance is 10-15 minutes, perhaps up to an hour or so, away and that your job is to keep the patient alive and as comfortable as possible until they show up. A WFA course assumes that an ambulance may not be available at all; if it is, it could be 10 or more hours away; and you may have to evacuate the patient yourself. But, unlike a wilderness survival course, it tends to assume that you know where you are and how to get back home.
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled."

#282835 - 11/29/16 10:23 PM Re: Immediate action for a snake bite? [Re: Macgyver]
oklajeff Offline

Registered: 03/21/08
Posts: 10
Originally Posted By: OldBaldGuy
"...shocking the area with a lawnmower spark system..."
OUCH!!! I have a pretty good resistance to electric shock (I used to be able to max out those things in the penny arcades). One of the hardest shocks I have ever suffered was from a law mower sparkplug, that sucker almost put me to my knees. I was standing on a wet sidewalk at the time, maybe that had something to do with it...

Originally Posted By: Macgyver
I failed to mention that the lawnmower is supposed to be turned off,...

Hahaha < BIG SMILE and GREAT LAUGH ! >
Yes, a little detail like that can 'feel' different smile.....

Btw, (I think this is my first post) (don't know what happened the past 8 years ! (it's like I fell asleep concerning this site and just woke up ! ) smile

When I still had contacts "around" ,
BEFORE the device was declared a medical device ..., (it was still a first aid device),
a big company had delivered one to ALL of its groups of employees in the world.
It cost only $100 per unit (or LESS) in some places way back (not available any more) ,
and only needed a nine volt battery replaced every year.

Some time later, within a few years, ... a requirement came up of study and testing to be approved and before it could be used for snake bites, sting ray stings? , bee stings, and so on.... so it has to pass a bunch of tests and be approved first before it can be used in the usa again.

Same at zoos across the country - reptile houses USED TO HAVE available a little device they could use and talk about with anyone. .... now they have to wait until it is approved.

Edited by oklajeff (11/30/16 01:57 AM)

#284029 - 03/07/17 06:09 AM Re: Immediate action for a snake bite? [Re: oklajeff]
Macgyver Offline

Registered: 05/24/06
Posts: 81
Loc: Victoria Australia
That is so true oklajeff, bureaucracy gets in the way of people's lives. It is also about the safety of the devices and insurance companies having concerns and conflicts of interest perhaps. Antivenom is a big thing these days, the $700 vial of antivenom can cost close to $30,000 in some hospitals simply because of hospital policies and insurance companies.

Antivenom isn't the sure bet that many people are made out to believe, they say, "I'll just go to hospital and get antivenom, it will all be ok". But many people have reactions to antivenom, they also can lose limbs, have kidney failure, even have heart attacks... This isn't the rarity, it is common.

The hospital in Quito Equador was able to reduce these effects down to practically zero, just by shocking the area and making sure the venom was neutralised.

I thought that it would be good after 8 years, to come back to this thread and add a few updates.

1) One very important thing is that the modern stun guns SHOULD NOT BE USED!. The voltage is much too high, they can be lethal, and the electricity is possibly AC as well. The bottom line is they are dangerous and they don't work to neutralise the venom. The idea that more voltage is better is simply not true. The research shows that the older style of stun guns which are 75Kv or less are fine and are safe if used appropriately, if you don't have heart disease or a pacemaker. TAZERS don't work as they produce AC as well as DC. This was one of the reasons some of the older studies were not able to prove this method effective.

2) You must use two wires, there needs to be a return path or ground for the shock. A small engine uses the body of the engine as it's ground so that the electricity can flow. If you don't provide a ground such as touching the back side of the limb against the engine body, you don't get much electricity flowing and the venom will not be fully neutralised.

3) The Italian team published another 4 papers discussing results and options for treatment of snake bite. These are: "Structural Modification of Proteins by Direct Electric Current from Low Voltage"; "Inactivation of Crotalus atrox Venom Hemorrhagic Activity by Direct Current Exposure Using Hens Egg Assay", "Inhibition of Hemorragic Snake Venom Components: Old and New Approaches" and "Accelerated removal of deamidated proteins and endogenous electric fields: possible implications".

The head researcher told me that they had to move onto other areas of study, but there were still many areas which can be explored in this area of study.

4) I have found some very good accounts of people using TENS units to treat Brown Recluse bites and snake bites with success. The TENS units were put on for 20 - 30 minutes and put up high. In all cases reported the swelling went down and the pain left almost immediately.

5) Cattle prods (hot shots) have been used with success by ranchers and vets, (TAZERS and modern stun guns were used and found that they didn't work but changing to a cattle prod produced great results).

6) This is one that I thought I would never report, I received a credible account from someone who shocked their brother's hand which had just been bitten by a pigmy rattler. It was swelling fast and very painful. They shocked it well with leads from a Belarus tractor's battery! (could have been 24 volts) The bite stopped swelling, the pain left and he started to recover. The Italian papers used 12 volts DC and it seems that it is possible to have the low voltage penetrate the skin and neutralise the venom. I suspect that sweat would be an electrolyte which would break down the resistance of the skin allowing the low voltage to penetrate into the tissues.

The accounts still trickle in about all sorts of things that this seems to help with. One lady is using it in conjuction with hydrogen peroxide, to neutralise the lethal stroke like effects of a toxic weed that her cattle sometimes eat. Others have used it on boils and dog bites to kill the infection. There is still lots of potential for this to be studied, but a TENS unit is safe and legal everywhere and it doesn't hurt to try it on the way to the hospital now does it?

Hope that is helpful information, and if any of you have used this personally with success I would love to hear your experiences.


Edited by Macgyver (03/08/17 02:26 AM)

#284030 - 03/07/17 01:59 PM Re: Immediate action for a snake bite? [Re: Macgyver]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6279
Loc: southern Cal
Shocking news indeed!!!

Old threads never die, they just.......
Geezer in Chief

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