Call 911 if:
- There is any chance that the snake is venomous
- The person has difficulty breathing
- There is loss of consciousness
If you know the snake is not venomous, treat as a puncture wound.
1. Note the Snake's Appearance
- Be ready to describe the snake to emergency staff.
2. Protect the Person
While waiting for medical help:
- Move the person beyond striking distance of the snake.
- Have the person lie down with wound below the heart.
- Keep the person calm and at rest, remaining as still as possible to keep venom from spreading.
- Cover the wound with loose, sterile bandage.
- Remove any jewelry from the area that was bitten.
- Remove shoes if the leg or foot was bitten.
- Cut a bite wound
- Attempt to suck out venom
- Apply tourniquet, ice, or water
- Give the person alcohol or caffeinated drinks or any other medications
3. Follow Up
If you treat the bite at home:
- Contact a health care provider. The person may need a tetanus shot. Tetanus boosters should be given every 10 years.
At the hospital, treatment will depend on the type of snake.
- If the snake was venomous, the person will be given anti-venom treatment.
- A tetanus shot may be given, depending on date of last injection.