Before Snake Season starts again (although even in these colder months, snake bites are still being reported in the news across Australia) get prepared with the right First Aid supplies and a CPR course – yes, a CPR course!
New research from 10 years of data from the Australian Snakebite Project published today in the Medical Journal of Australia shows that snake bite victims who collapse after venom enters their bloodstream are rarely receiving CPR from bystanders.
While other first-aid measures (pressure bandages and immobilising both the limb and the patient) are commonly being correctly performed to prevent the venom travelling from the bite site, the bite victim is often given no more bystander First Aid assistance while waiting for an ambulance or other professional medical assistance to arrive.
Unfortunately the study showed that the most common snake bites were from brown snakes, their bite when envenomed causing the victim to collapse and have a heart attack – causing 43% of snake bite deaths. If a snake bite victim collapses, CPR is vital to keep the blood circulating to the vital organs. In the study it has been shown to be life-saving, however inexpertly a bystander performed it.
In the study, Australians who survived a snake bite after collapsing had received CPR within 1 minute of being bitten, compared with 15 minutes – often by arriving First Responders – for those who died.
What needs to be done?
- Be prepared with a Snake Bite Kit.
- Be prepared with CPR training (but perform CPR even if untrained).
- Seek immediate medical attention – get the victim to hospital by ambulance.
Ensure your CPR course uses the best training Manikin – the Brayden LED CPR Manikin uses animated LED lights under the skin to show you the effect your CPR technique is having on getting blood flowing to vital organs.
Ensure you have a Snake Bite First Aid Kit when you most need it – our ultra-portable Regulator Snake Bite First Aid Kit can be worn on the belt and contains everything you need to treat a snake bite, including instructions.