Comments for consumers
This page/column contains information which may be of interest to consumers. The information is based on articles which appear in Australian Prescriber. As Australian Prescriber is written for health professionals, you should discuss any issues raised by this page/column with your doctor or pharmacist. They will be able to give a more detailed answer to your questions by reading the main article.
Australian Prescriber is unable to comment on individual cases or give second opinions.
Snake bites are uncommon, but when they occur they can be deadly. Not all snakes are poisonous and poisonous snakes do not always inject poison. It is difficult to know if a snake has injected poison so apply first aid after any suspected snake bite.
The person who was bitten should stay still. A broad firm bandage should be wrapped around the bite. If the bite is on an arm or leg, bandage the whole limb. This stops the spread of poison.
Do not try and suck or wash the poison out of the bite. The bandage must not be so tight that it cuts off the circulation. Transport the patient to medical care leaving the bandage in place.
Contact the Poisons Information Centre for further information (phone 13 11 26).