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#231203 - 09/01/11 01:59 AM Re: Snake bite in SOCAL [Re: LED]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6762
Loc: southern Cal
Originally Posted By: LED
Didn't they look where they were going?? Sorry, but unless its hidden in brush, its pretty hard not to see a snake.

Concerning the Sawyer Extractor, wilderness medical programs (WMI, etc.) stopped using them a while ago.
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#231204 - 09/01/11 01:59 AM Re: Snake bite in SOCAL [Re: Russ]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6762
Loc: southern Cal
The incident occurred "after sunset." They are harder to spot then....
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#231205 - 09/01/11 02:07 AM Re: Snake bite in SOCAL [Re: thseng]
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
Awhile back the Aussies found that a light pressure wrap was pretty effective for treating extremity bites from snakes with neurotoxic venom. The technique was not recommended, however, for other snake venoms which are not neurotoxic and tend to do damage locally. But the latest AHA/ARC first aid guidelines now recommend a properly applied pressure wrap for any venomous snakebite. I was surprised when I saw this, since venom from vipers like rattlesnakes can do devastating damage to local tissues, and the chief mechanism of the pressure wrap is to minimize lymphatic flow.

Originally Posted By: thseng
My wife and I share everything, so what's a little venom between us?


Yeah, but what about snakebites? grin

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#231208 - 09/01/11 03:04 AM Re: Snake bite in SOCAL [Re: ireckon]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Quote:
I know sucking out the poison is not recommended, but I also understand the article is saying it's NOT absolute the person sucking would become a second victim. If a loved one is dying and anti-venom is not coming soon, then it would be hard not to take a chance (especially for a daughter or son).


No, it's not absolute that the person sucking the venom would become the second victim, but if one of you is bitten it's not going to improve the whole situation if there are TWO people who need to be treated.

Remember that if the venom is taken into the body, the site is going to start swelling almost immediately. This also applies to the mouth, a bad place to start swelling. I once knew a Beagle who got stung on the tongue by a rattler; they couldn't get him to the vet quick enough to save his life. His tongue swelled so fast that he died of suffocation, I guess.

I think that the only reason the victim would die quickly is if the venom happened to be deposited right into the blood stream, like into a vein or artery. And there is probably anaphyaxis if the person is allergic, but I am under the impression (perhaps wrongly) that you don't get an allergic reaction the first time you're bitten/stung. The first attack sets up the body to react the next time, IF you're going to be allergic.

So, if you're with someone who is bitten, don't suck the poison, just do all the other things that you need to do: call for help, capture or kill the snake (if you can) so the medical people will know what type of snake to treat for, keep the person quiet and calm, be ready to jump up and wave to the arriving emergency personnel if you're not in a place where you'll be seen easily.

Having two people lying in the brush of a vacant lot, out of sight of rescuers isn't the ideal situation.

Sue

Sue

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#231221 - 09/01/11 08:08 AM Re: Snake bite in SOCAL [Re: Susan]
frediver Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/17/04
Posts: 213
Loc: N.Cal.
All this information is great when medical help is close by but what do you do if you happen to be bitten while on a backpack hunting trip, out of cell phone range 30mi. back in the sticks. Having a Beacon or Spot
is no real comfort in this situation either, it could take hours or days for help to arrive.
So: if you are on your own what do you do?
If you have only one other person with you, should they leave you to get help, remember it might be a 2-3 day walk? A Beacon or Spot might take
12hrs or more, it's 5pm now, sundown at 7pm, next light is 6:30am.

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#231222 - 09/01/11 10:27 AM Re: Snake bite in SOCAL [Re: frediver]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6762
Loc: southern Cal
Prepare for a rough night. Take comfort that the statistics of survival favor you.

It is worth noting that snakebites in the back country are pretty rare. I did SAR for a number of years in Tucson, AZ, which is near a lot of rattlesnakes. I asked one of our senior members how many of our operations had involved snakebites. Answer - none for over 500 operations over a period of 25 years.

People had been bitten by snakes. A local doctor gave a presentation to us summarizing his experience in treating bites. There were tow groups at risk - young kids playing around the house, and males in the 17-25 year category who were intentionally messing with the snake.

Remember that a snake will avoid you if at all possible. They don't like us anymore than we like them
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#231235 - 09/01/11 01:07 PM Re: Snake bite in SOCAL [Re: Russ]
Montanero Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1463
Loc: North Carolina
Most snakes, including rattlesnakes, will avoid trouble if possible. I have spotted rattlesnakes near a trail, after several people have passed, and they were just trying to hide. I have seen them surrounded by a group of people (who were not aware it was there) and the rattler was just trying to get away. Water Moccasins on the other hand are territorial and aggressive. I have been chased by them, I have seen them stand their ground in the face of several people. Their poison is not as dangerous as rattler's venom. Their smaller cousin the copperhead is fairly aggressive as well, and will strike at passersby. Their poison is much the same as the water moccasin, but they tend to like to live in places where people live (woodpiles, under houses, bushes in the yard). Most of the snake bites I have personally been aware of in the Southeast are copperheads, mostly because they are more aggressive and belligerent.

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#231242 - 09/01/11 01:56 PM Re: Snake bite in SOCAL [Re: Russ]
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
@NightHiker. You. are. on. fire. with your post comments this week.

En Fuego
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#231254 - 09/01/11 05:16 PM Re: Snake bite in SOCAL [Re: Russ]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
And don't think that carrying a dose of antivenom with you is going to solve all your prospective problems.

It needs to be kept refrigerated.

Some people are allergic to the antivenom (hospitals test you before they give you the first dose)

And you might need a lot of it to do the job.

Sue

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#231255 - 09/01/11 05:17 PM Re: Snake bite in SOCAL [Re: NightHiker]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
NightHiker, please elaborate on the constriction band. Some people here might think you're talking about a regular tourniquet, like for arterial bleeding.

Sue

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