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Snake Bite First Aid Treatment

Call Emergency Services (000) 

Check that the danger has gone. Lay the victim down and provide reassurance. Call 000 (Emergency services). Where possible, select the speakerphone on your phone so that your hands are free to assist the victim. Don’t move the victim unless there is risk of further danger.

Bandage the site 

In Australia it’s advised that you apply a firm pressure bandage (10-15cm wide) to the bite site as soon as possible. Then using a second pressure bandage, start at the end of the limb, (Just above the fingers or toes), and work your way all the way up the limb to the torso. If a bandage is not available use clothing to create a bandage. The bandage should be wound as firm as possible without restricting blood flow. Once the bandage has been applied mark the location of the bite.

If a bite has occurred on the torso region of the body, apply a bandage however possible around the torso, ensuring that pressure is kept on, and around the site of the bite.

Do NOT wash the bite site

Its important not to wash the bite because the venom may be used for identification purposes once the victim is admitted to a hospital. Washing the site won’t save you, and only makes it harder to treat the bite.

Do NOT cut the bite or apply a tourniquet

Venom travels underneath the skin through the lymphatic system. Cutting the bite and applying a tourniquet (Cutting blood circulation to the limb) will only potentially cause more damage.