I don’t care who I offend: snakes are revolting creatures. I don’t know; there’s just something WRONG about an animal with no legs or wings or flippers. It’s like Mother Nature made a typo or something. Snakes are among the top entities that propagate phobias. I wouldn’t say I have a phobia about snakes, but I sure as heck avoid any potential for getting bitten by a poisonous snakes.
How do you treat a snakebite? The first thing to do is to wash the bite with soap and water. This may be impossible if you are out in the wilderness, but at home you should able to get indoors and clean the bite fairly well. Whether you clean the snake bite or not, you want to keep the area of the body where the snake’s fangs penetrated immobile. You also want to keep that body part lower than the heart to reduce blood flow.
Blood flow is an essential component of dying of a snake bite. The more poison gets into your circulatory system, the greater the possibility of complications and, ultimately, death. You should call for emergency service if you know for sure that the snake that bit you was poisonous or if you don’t know whether it was poisonous or not. Non-poisonous snake bites should be treated by a doctor if severe, but emergency personnel are not a requirement. The one thing you definitely want to avoid is drinking or eating anything. This include alcohol so don’t think a snake bite is going to hurt less if you down a glass of whiskey. Eating and drinking facilitates movement of the blood through the circulatory system and that’s something to avoid at all costs.
Try to remain calm. This may be the most difficult thing to do. A snake bite can hurt like hell and cause psychological damage due to the conventions of Western thought that serpent equals evil. Breathe regularly and slowly and try to move as little as possible in order to retard blood circulation. As the blood circulates, you see, the poison is carried further through the body.
What about that old convention of sucking out the poison and spitting it away? You will probably be doing more damage than good if you are the one sucking out the poison. You don’t want to put another person in jeopardy just because you saw Little Joe sucking poison out of Hoss on an old rerun of Bonanza? Just stay calm and still until you can get to a doctor and receive an antidote.