Treatment for Snake-Bites





If the unlikely should chance to happen and one of your party is bitten

by a poisonous snake, first aid should be given _immediately_, and if a

physician is within reach he should be summoned as quickly as possible.

Much depends, however, upon what is done first. Any one can administer

the following treatment, and it should be done without flinching, for it

may mean the saving of a life:



(1) As soon as the person is bitten twist a tourniquet very tightly

above the wound, that is, between the wound and the heart, to keep the

poison as far as possible from entering the entire system.



(2) Slash the wound or stab it with a _clean_ knife-blade and force it

to bleed copiously. If there is no break in the skin or membrane of your

mouth or lips and no cavity in any of your teeth, suck the wound to draw

out the poison.



(3) Give a stimulant in small doses at frequent intervals to stimulate

the heart and lungs and strengthen the nerves, but avoid overdoing this,

for the result will be harmful.



(4) If you have with you an antivenomous serum, inject it as directed by

the formula that accompanies it.



Tie a loose bandage around the affected member, a handkerchief, neck

scarf, or even a rope for a tourniquet, to check circulation, as

described in Chapter XII, on Accidents. Every little while loosen the

tourniquet, then tighten it again, for it will not do to stop the

circulation entirely.



All authorities do not advise sucking the wound, but it is generally

done, for with a perfectly sound and healthy mouth there is no danger,

as the poison enters the system only by contact with the blood.



Some writers advocate cauterizing the wound with a hot iron; but,

whatever is done, do quickly, and _do not be afraid_. Fear is contagious

and exceedingly harmful to the patient. Remember that a snake-bite is

seldom fatal, and that a swollen arm or leg does not mean that the case

is hopeless.





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