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February 26, 2024
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Navigating Snake Bites in Australia: The Importance of Having a Snake Bite Kit

If you live in Australia, getting a snake bite kit is non-negotiable. Australia homes some of the world’s poisonous snakes, including Mulga and the Lowland Copperhead. And yes, you don’t need to go to the bush to find them. These snakes will slither to your doorstep, leading to the kitchen, washroom, or even worse, your bedroom.

That said, getting a snake bite first aid kit for your home or workplace is the fastest and safest way to help save a life before a medical professional arrives. But the thing is, getting a first aid kit is only a step in the right direction. You need to know how to use each piece of equipment, or you are going to put the victim at a greater risk.

Lucky for you, we have all the deets here, from the equipment that makes up a first aid kit to how to use each. Stick around to learn more!

Snake Bite First Aid Kit Equipment- A Comprehensive Guide

Component of Snake Bite Kit and Usage

Pen or Permanent Marker

A permanent marker may look useless firsthand, but trust us, you need it. The marker helps put a mark on the bite site. This way, you can be entirely sure that you are treating the right place. A victim may not be in the right position to keep reminding you of the bitten area.

A Large Width Elastic Bandage

Part of treating a snake bite is restricting the venom from spreading to other parts of the body, where an elastic bandage comes into play. The snake bite bandage is meant to be applied over the bitten limb within the first 5 minutes. A 10-15cm wide bandage should serve you well.

Pressure Immobilisation Bandage

As the name suggests, a pressure immobilisation bandage is used to apply pressure on the wound as well as immobilise it. The pressure bandage is applied before the elastic bandage. You might be a little bit confused about why you need both bandages. Unlike pressure bandages that only immobilise the bitten area, elastic bandage immobilises the whole limb, restricting unnecessary movements.

Snake Bite Guideline Booklet

A guideline booklet is an essential snake bite first aid kit equipment that should never be missed in that arsenal. This is because it provides clear instructions on how to treat a first aid kit. If you are someone who hasn’t gone for training, you will want to treat it as your bible just to be prepared, as most snake bite accidents are uncalled for.

Thermal Reflective Blanket

A thermal reflective blanket is a thin and lightweight plastic sheet used to maintain and reduce body heat loss. Now, you are probably wondering why on earth you need this snake bite kit equipment. Well, when treating a  victim, the bitten area should be immobile, and the victim moving around because they are not warm enough can worsen the situation. A thermal blanket can ensure they are warm enough before help arrives.

How to Properly Use a Snake First Aid Kit

It is important to keep a snake first aid kit handy, and it is equally important to ensure you know how to use it the right way. To help you deal with a snake bite emergency without feeling overwhelmed, we have listed down some dos and don’ts; review them all to act with caution to help yourself or someone else bitten by a snake near you.

Important: Dos After a Snake Bite

To safely leverage a snake first aid kit, follow these steps.

  • Steer clear from the snake. This applies whether in the house or out in the woods.
  • Let the victim sit down in a relaxed position and ensure they stay calm. Being tensed will only cause the venom to spread faster. So, it’s essential that you get the victim calm.
  • Call an Ambulance; if there is no response, dial triple zero, 000 or 112. At no point should you leave the patient.
  • Applying the pressure immobilisation bandage

Next, you want to apply the pressure immobilisation bandage as help is on the way. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Place the pressure bandage over the bite site. Make sure it’s not too tight or too loose. For correct positioning, ensure the space between the bandage and the skin cannot fit your finger.
  • Once the pressure bandage is correctly positioned, use a heavy clip or an elastic bandage to immobilise the whole limb. If it’s the leg, start just above the toes and move upwards. Follow the same procedure if the bite is on the hand. Additionally, mark the snake bite area on the bandage.
  • As you wait for help, ensure the victim remains at rest. As mentioned, keeping the victim calm will help slow down the venom.

Important: Don’ts After a Snake Bite

  • Don’t wash the bitten area.
  • Don’t try to kill the snake; instead, move away from it.
  • Don’t apply a tourniquet.
  • Don’t try to suck the venom if you haven’t gone through training.
  • Don’t cut the wound.

The Critical Role of a Snake Bite First Aid Kit

According to a report, most snake bite deaths between 2000 and 2016 occurred in and around homes. Another report shows that there are approximately 550 snake bites across Australia, and two people died as a result. From these statistics, you can tell that people who don’t have a survival snake bite kit at home are at a significant risk. If you want to avoid being in the statistics, get yourself a first aid kit to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Snake bite kits are affordable, available both online and in local pharmacies, and pretty easy to use. So don’t let that be an excuse as to why you are not getting yours. Take this important step now, and don’t let a snake bite ruin your happy life. A safer family is a happy family.

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