Snakebites

Snakebites

The most poisonous snake in the Johannesburg(South Africa) area is the Rinkhals.

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.

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