Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

What to do if you are bitten by a snake…

02.12.2010
…and how you can avoid snakebites in the first place

Should you be the victim of a snakebite, the best thing you can do is get to a hospital as quickly as possible, according to a new review article from the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS). Current medical treatments, including new medications and surgery, if necessary, are far more effective for snakebites than anything you can do on your own.

“Previous generations of antivenin medications were notorious for causing negative systemic reactions,” says Adam W. Anz, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC. “But the antivenins we have available today can not only help avoid long-term damage from the snake venom, but they can also prevent the need for more invasive medical treatment.”

Snakebite symptoms can range from pain, swelling, and bruising to an irregular heartbeat, paralysis, and muscle twitching.

Surgery is very rarely, yet sometimes necessary to treat damage incurred from a snakebite, in cases where severe swelling compromises blood flow. This is not the only reason that orthopaedic surgeons are often consulted on these types of injuries.

“Orthopaedic surgeons are experts in regard to treating the extremities, and the hands and feet are the parts of the body most often bitten by snakes,” says Dr. Anz. “This is why it is important for orthopaedic surgeons and the public to know about the effects of venom and the best ways to treat snakebites.”

Tips for avoiding snakebites:

Understand the types of environments where people are likely to encounter snakes. For example, wooded areas with deep piles of leaves or stacks of wood are frequently home to snakes.

If you encounter a snake, get away from it. Do not attempt to pick it up or threaten its safety in any way. More than half of all bites occur when people interact inappropriately with snakes.

If you are bitten:

Identify the type of snake if possible. If a smartphone or other camera is available, take a photo of the snake and bring it with you to the hospital.

Get away from the snake.

Do not attempt to suck out the venom.

Do not apply a tourniquet unless you have a great deal of knowledge about snakes and the effects of snakebites. For some types of venom, a tourniquet can actually do more harm than good.

Immobilize the affected body part.

Remove all rings or restrictive jewelry on the affected limb, since snakebites often cause swelling.

Get to a hospital or healthcare facility as quickly as you can. Do not wait and watch for symptoms.

Relevant facts and statistics:

Approximately 45,000 snakebite injuries are reported annually in the United States.

Seventy to 80 percent of snakebites occur in males.

More than half of snakebites are to the hand(s).

Most snakebites result from intentional exposure, whether in a professional context (e.g., snake handling) or nonprofessional context (e.g., playing with snakes in the wild).

Alcohol consumption is involved in the majority of bites, resulting from risky behavior.

The high correlation between alcohol use and hand injury implies that bites occur when the victim is behaving in an unsafe manner, not when he or she is attempting to evade the snake.

Disclosure: Dr. Koman or an immediate family member serves as a board member, owner, officer, or committee member of DT Scimed and KeraNetics; serves as a paid consultant to or is an employee of DT Scimed; has received research or institutional support from Data Trace, Allergan, Biomet, DT Scimed, Johnson & Johnson, KeraNetics, Smith & Nephew, Synthes, Wright Medical Technology, and Zimmer; has stock or stock options held in Wright Medical Technology; and has received nonincome support (such as equipment or services), commercially derived honoraria, or other non-research–related funding (such as paid travel) from Data Trace, DT Scimed, and KeraNetics. Dr. Anz, Dr. Schweppe, Dr. Halvorson, Dr. Bushnell, and Dr. Sternberg have nothing related to this study to disclose.

Lisa Meyer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aaos.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>