Snake Bite- Don’t Panic!

Snakes have always been one of the common creatures to be found in forests and rural areas. Often their venom turns out to be poisonous, endangering people.

A snakebite is an injury caused by the bite of a snake, especially a venomous snake. A common sign of a bite from a venomous snake is the presence of two puncture wounds from the animal’s fangs. Sometimes venom injection from the bite may occur. This may result in redness, swelling, and severe pain at the area, which may take up to an hour to appear. Vomiting, blurred vision, tingling of the limbs, and sweating may result. Most bites are on the hands, arms, or legs

Even a bite from a harmless snake can be serious, leading to an allergic reaction or an infection. Venomous snake bites can produce an array of symptoms, including localized pain and swelling, convulsions, nausea, and even paralysis.

Not every snake bite is deadly.

Dry bites: These occur when a snake doesn’t release any venom with its bite. As you’d expect, these are mostly seen with non-venomous snakes.

Venomous bites: These are much more dangerous. They occur when a snake transmits venom during a bite.

Types of Venom

Did you know that there are so many types of venom? Well, here you go! Different species carry different types of venom. The major categories include:

  • Cytotoxins: Cause swelling and tissue damage wherever you’ve been bitten.
  • Haemorrhagins: Disrupt the blood vessels.
  • Anti-clotting agents: Prevent the blood from clotting.
  • Neurotoxins: Cause paralysis or other damage to the nervous system.
  • Myotoxins: Break down muscles.

Some Poisonous Snakes and Their Bites

Coral Snakes


Symptoms specific to coral snake bites include:

  • pain that is not immediate
  • symptoms that set in hours after the bite
  • convulsions
  • drooping eyelids
  • change in skin color
  • stomach pain
  • difficulty swallowing
  • headache
  • shock
  • paralysis



Copperhead snake bites share symptoms with water moccasin snake bites. Symptoms can include:

  • immediate pain and symptoms
  • change in skin color
  • shock
  • low blood pressure
  • weakness



Symptoms specific to rattlesnake bites are immediate and include:

  • severe pain
  • drooping eyelids
  • low blood pressure
  • thirst
  • tiredness or muscle weakness

Water Moccasin


Water moccasin bites share symptoms with copperhead bites. Specific symptoms include:

  • immediate pain and symptoms
  • change in skin color
  • shock
  • low blood pressure
  • weakness

First aid for snake bites

Should you be bitten by a snake, it’s essential to get emergency treatment as quickly as possible. However, there are some tips that you should also keep in mind:

  • Call the ambulance immediately.
  • Note the time of the bite.
  • Keep calm and still as movement can cause the venom to travel more quickly through the body.
  • Remove constricting clothing or jewelry because the area surrounding the bite will likely swell.
  • Don’t allow the victim to walk. Carry or transport them by vehicle.
  • Do not kill or handle the snake. Take a picture if you can but don’t waste time hunting it down.

Dont’s during First Aid

It’s important that we do not mess up the first aid, listening to the myths. This may put the victim’s life into danger even.

  • Do not use a tourniquet.
  • Do not cut into the snake bite.
  • Do not use a cold compress on the bite.
  • Do not give the person any medications unless directed by a doctor.
  • Do not raise the area of the bite above the victim’s heart.
  • Do not attempt to suck the venom out by mouth.
  • Do not use a pump suction device. These devices were formerly recommended for pumping out snake venom, but it’s now believed that they are more likely to do harm than good.


If the bite is not serious, the doctor may simply clean the wound and give the victim a tetanus vaccine.

If the situation is life threatening, the doctor may administer antivenom. This is a substance created with snake venom to counter the snake bite symptoms. It’s injected into the victim. The sooner the antivenom is used, the more effective it will be.

What Are Antivenoms?

Antivenoms are created by immunizing horses or sheep with the venom of a particular snake. Their blood serum (the watery part of the blood) is then processed, as it will contain antibodies capable of neutralizing the effects of venom. There are antivenoms that treat bites from a specific type of snake (monospecific antivenoms) and also those that treat bites from a number of snakes found in a particular geographic region (polyspecific antivenoms).

References : Link1 | Link2 | Link3 

Follow us on Social Media for updates on latest articles and events! 
Was this article helpful? Then, please hit the like button. And let us know about your review in comment section.

You May Also Like

Recent Posts