HOW TO TREAT BITES

The Western Star - - FRONT PAGE - Page 9

SUM­MER has started early and with the heat has come the snakes: Ex­perts are warn­ing Queens­lan­ders to stay snake aware.

The Queens­land Am­bu­lance Ser­vice has re­minded res­i­dents to act quickly and calmly if bit­ten, with an in­crease in snake ac­tiv­ity now the state is warm­ing up.

Mem­bers of the pub­lic are urged to be vig­i­lant, not only while out walk­ing but in and around their homes as well.

QAS clin­i­cal qual­ity and pa­tient safety direc­tor Tony Hucker yes­ter­day pro­vided ad­vice on what to do if you sus­pect a snake bite.

“It’s that time of the year where snakes are out, so it’s im­por­tant we take a safe ap­proach when we are in our back­yard or out bush walk­ing,” Mr Hucker said.

“Re­mem­ber snakes won’t de­lib­er­ately bite us, they’ll only bite if they’re pro­voked, so if you see one, just stay away from it.”

Mr Hucker re­minded Queens­lan­ders to avoid long grass, keep an eye out, never put your hands in ar­eas you couldn’t see prop­erly and to keep your grass low.

A video also re­minds the pub­lic that dy­ing from a snake bite is rare, with only two peo­ple a year na­tion­ally killed in this man­ner.

Mr Hucker demon­strated first aid re­sponse in treat­ing snake bite vic­tims, say­ing it was very straight for­ward and sim­ple.

“It’s very im­por­tant that we make (the vic­tim) re­lax, so she’s not pump­ing too much blood around her body.

“Quickly put a pres­sure mo­bil­i­sa­tion ban­dage on the limb but, if you have a first aid kit, first put a dress­ing over the bite site to keep it dry.

“Next, put on a broad roll of ban­dage, make it nice and firm... right down to tips, then up the limb as far as you can go.”

Re­as­sur­ing the vic­tim is a key pri­or­ity, as venom is dis­persed by the lym­phatic ves­sels, lim­it­ing move­ment of the vic­tim will help limit the venom from trav­el­ling through­out the body.

Once the vic­tim has been firmly ban­daged, splint the af­fected limb, to fur­ther min­imise move­ment.

“Rest her, lie her down, keep the limb flat and keep the vic­tim calm.”

More than 120 species of snakes live in Queens­land, with around 65 per cent of them venomous.

For a full de­mon­stra­tion of snake bite first aid, head to the QAS Face­book page.

PHOTO: SA­MUEL HUNT

COOL HEAD: Keep them calm and limit move­ment is the ad­vice for vic­tims of snake bites from the state am­bu­lance ser­vice.

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