Snake Bites

Snake Bites

Light snows and early run off provides the optimum environment for our slithering friends, snakes. They are prolific and common in foothills, back country, and right in the midst of the urban population. While most snakes are not poisonous, all too many are. Young snakes offer even a more nasty bite than an adult snake. Apparently young snakes will inject their complete store of venom while adults will only inject a small portion of venom. Not even a dead snake can be trusted not to bite. Even decapitated snakes have been known to bite.

Okay… by a raise of hands let’s see how many of you are comfortable that you could successfully deal with a case of snake bite out on the trail? Is there any question that we are all just a little unsure about what to do in case of a snake bite?

According to recent medical announcements the best treatment of snake bite is not found out on the trail. The best solution for treatment of snake bite is found in the local hospital emergency room in the form of an anti-venom vaccine. This gives us as back country travelers but one option. Get out of the back country and get to the emergency room as fast as you can.

We can only be thankful that we are a motorized sport. Were we out walking or hiking it may not be possible to get to the ER before we are totally immobilized by the venom that attacks the central nervous system.

Reports indicate that rarely is a person totally immobilized immediately by a snake bite. In most cases there is a swelling that begins immediately but will not immobilize a person. Each situation will need to be evaluated individually. If it is not possible to get the victim out of the back country, then it may be necessary to call in emergency evacuation assistance via cell phone. In any case, the treatment is not rendered in the field, it will be supplied at the hospital under the care of a physician. It would only be reasonable to expect that a snake bite victim would have at least a two day stay in the hospital after the incident to be sure that there are no other complications from the injection of the snake venom.

If at all possible, try to stay calm and reasonable. Do not go chasing after the snake to exact your revenge. This will only speed up the spread of venom in your body.

For more information on venomous snakes in Utah please visit: Wild Aware Utah – Snakes

Please do not consider this document as medical advice. For medical advice please see your physician or other competent medical professional. This information is offered as opinion only. Please research this and all other medical practices thoroughly before applying any intervention with any medical condition.

Categories: ATV Safety

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