Make sure to also read the article on Avoiding A Snakebite
According to the Centers For Disease Control, in case of a snakebite;
* Do remain calm - Remember that there is an excellent chance for survival, and in most cases there is plenty of time.
* Do suck and squeeze - as much venom as possible directly from the wound. Venom is protein and can be taken orally with no ill effects.
* Do remove jewelry - Swelling can progress rapidly, so rings, watches and bracelets can be a real problem.
* Do mark the time - The progress of symptoms (swelling) is the most obvious indicator of the amount of envenomation.
* Do keep the stricken limb below the heart.
* Do get to a hospital as quickly as possible - Anti-venom serum is the only sure cure for envenomation, and because some people are allergic to horse serum it should only be given in a fully equipped medical facility.
* In case of a Coral bite, do pull the snake off immediately - Corals' fangs are relatively small, and they have to work at getting venom into the wound. Therefore, the faster the snake is removed the less venom is injected.
* Do attempt to identify the offending snake - Positive identification in the form of a dead snake is helpful, if convenient, but no time or safety should be wasted since the symptoms will give medical personnel an accurate diagnosis.
* Do get a tetanus shot.
* Don't cut the wound - This almost always causes more damage than it's worth.
* Don't use a tourniquet - This isolates the venom in a small area and causes the digestive enzymes in the venom to concentrate the damage.
* Don't use alcohol orally - it speeds the heart and blood flow and reduces the body's counter-acting ability.
* Don't use ice - Freezing the stricken limb has been found to be a major factor leading to amputation.
Source: Centers For Disease Control, http://www.cdc.gov
Click on FRED the albino eastern diamondback rattlesnake for the next page in the site tour. :-)
Write these numbers down and keep them with you if you deal with venomous snakes on a regular basis, especially if you are in the Southeast.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Venom Response Unit (305)596-8576**
**The new number for the Miami Dade Fire-Rescue Antivenin Unit is (786) 336-6600. The old one will be active until December of 2006.**
Non-emergency during normal business hours: (786) 331-4454
Lt. Ernie Jillson ell: (786)229-0736
Lt. Ernie Jillson pager: (305)366-3459
Venom 1: Cruza@miamidade.gov
Venom 2: Jillson@miamidade.gov
Venom 3: Mullins@miamidade.gov