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How to Survive a Venomous Snake Bite

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Editor’s Note: Today’s article is courtesy of Alex Ramsey. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Journal’s Writing Contest today.


The best way to increase your chances of surviving a venomous snake bite is to have a contingency plan in place. Remember, that your end goal should be to receive anti-venom because without a dose of anti-venom you have almost zero chances of surviving a poisonous snake bite. Today we discuss steps you can take to act quickly to survive a venomous snake bite. As a bonus, at the end of this article you’ll also learn how to get rid of Copperhead Snakes.

Call emergency services immediately

Don’t make the mistake of trying to drive yourself to a hospital or waiting to see whether or not you’ll display any symptoms of being poisoned. If you plan to survive a snake bite and live to tell the tale, time is of the essence. Instead, call 911 as soon as you’ve been bitten.

Better yet, if you’re with a family member or friend, direct them to call emergency services right away. Ideally, have your companion stay on the line with emergency services as they may be able to give your friend instructions on how to best look after you. If your symptoms worsen, while your companion is on the phone, emergency services may choose to send a helicopter to transport you to the nearest hospital, which will have anti-venom in stock.

Describe The snake that bit you

An accurate description of the snake that bit you will help emergency services locate the appropriate type of anti venom.

An accurate description of the snake that bit you will help emergency services locate the appropriate type of anti venom.

Make sure that either you or your companion gives emergency services an accurate description of the snake that bit you. That way, emergency services will be able to ascertain what type of snake bit you and will be able to select the appropriate type of anti venom.

If possible, disclose how long the snake was, how thick the snake’s body was, the color of the snake and whether or not the snake had round eyes or slit style eyes. If a snake has a triangle-shaped head beware as venomous snakes often have triangular heads. If the offending snake is still around, try to get your companion, if you have on to take a photo of the snake which bit you. Either that or kill it and there will be no question of the species.

If you live in an area that is frequented by snakes, it’s well worth learning how to identify the different types of poisonous snakes in your area. That way, if you’re ever bitten by a venomous snake, you’ll have a far better chance of correctly identifying the offending snake.

Stay as still as possible

Did you know that the faster you move, the faster the snake’s venom will be absorbed by your body and the faster the venom will affect your body? That’s why if you’re in an area with phone coverage, it’s far wiser to get emergency services to rescue you, rather than attempting to walk back to your car.

Leave your snake bite alone

Some research suggests that an ice pack will reduce your body's circulation and will decrease the spread of venom, throughout your body.

Some research suggests that an ice pack will reduce your body’s circulation and will decrease the spread of venom, throughout your body.

While you may be tempted to suck the venom out of your leg or cut your wound open, in order to try to remove as much venom as you can, doing so will only worsen your condition. Also avoiding crafting a tourniquet as a tourniquet will only speed up the symptoms of your snake bite.

However, if you have an ice pack handy, it is a good idea to hold the ice pack against your bite. As some research suggests that cold from an ice pack will reduce your body’s circulation and will decrease the spread of venom throughout your body. Remember that you’ll significantly increase your chances of survival by keeping calm and waiting for emergency services to reach you.

What if you’re unsure of whether you’ve been bitten by a venomous snake or not? If you can’t tell the difference between a venomous snake and a non venomous snake it’s still wisest to call emergency services. As emergency services should be able to ascertain whether or not the snake that bit you is venomous.

Remember that you’ve got nothing to lose by contacting emergency services but if you fail to make the phone call, it could cost you your life.

How To Get Rid Of Copperhead Snakes

If you live in an area that is rife with dangerous Copperhead snakes, simply continue reading to discover how to prevent snakes from exploring your property, as well as how to safely remove any Copperhead snakes that have already invaded your property.

Make sure your property isn’t attractive to Copperheads

Make sure that your lawn is cut short and that there is no garbage in your yard. Copperhead snakes are known to hide in long grass and are attracted to garbage as it is a possible food source for hungry snakes. It’s also worth cutting down or trimming any bushes that are on your property. As they are also attractive to snakes who are looking for a safe hiding place. Also make sure to seal any possible entry points to your home, to prevent snakes from making their way into your home itself.

Invest in a non-lethal snake trap

By far the safest way to get rid of a Copperhead snake on your own, is to place non lethal snake traps around your property. Such traps are a humane way to catch any snakes which are hiding on your property. Once caught, call your local council to find out how you should dispose of the live snake that you’ve caught.

Alternatively, you may want to call a snake removal specialist to remove of the snake which you’ve caught for you. If you do choose to release a Copperhead on your own, it’s worth driving to a remote area, so that the snake you release won’t make its way to another family’s property.

Call a snake removal specialist

If you don’t want to run the risk of being bitten by a venomous Copperhead, don’t hesitate to call a snake removal specialist. Who has the appropriate skills to safely catch and release a Copperhead. Keep in mind that the sooner you call a specialist, the less likely the snake on your property is likely to breed.

After all the last thing you need is a pregnant Copperhead residing on your property.

About the author: Alex Ramsey – Work hard & live to hunt! Countryman Hunter, Archery, shooter, Freelance outdoor writer and loves the USA. Founder of Thebigdeer.com where he shares his hunting experiences with all. Alex’s site is all about guns, showcases real gear & real reviews to help you become more prepared. Knowledge will save you, but great gear will help! Let’s Get Out & Go Hunting

 

16 Comments

  1. keebler

    June 7, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Great article,thanks, I just had a 6; Black snake get in my house ,didn’t hurt it just a broom pushing him / her back outside.
    keebler.

  2. Kathleen

    June 7, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    What do you do, if there are No medical facilities?

    • Steve

      June 8, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      Well said, Kathleen. And to add, if all communication is down, we are on our own. What then?

  3. Ed West

    June 7, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    There’s a better way. Take your stun gun and zap around the bite about 5 or 6 times, making sure that all directions are covered. The current flow will neutralize the venom. Still see a doctor if possible, but now without the urgency. Works on poisonous spider bites also ,-especially brown recluse – no sloughing off of skin and no pain. Girl in Arkansas has been doing this for people for years with a 12V car battery! Don’t knock it until you try it.

    • Mike Harris

      June 8, 2017 at 12:55 am

      This advice is completely fabricated folk lure without any scientific facts. Common sense debuts this claim based upon the simply algorithms of electrical properties that occur on soft tissue not to mention the many scientific journals and institutions have debunked these claims! It saddens me when I feel obligated to call out none like this but I do realize unfortunately it happens. Please reference the science! (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11434486) (http://www.docsdetecting.com/docsplace/aoi/snakbite.html)

    • Dennis

      June 8, 2017 at 2:19 pm

      I don’t know about a stun gun but I do know that I wouldn’t let anyone zap me 5 or 6 times with a stun gun. I think that would kill a person,I do know about a product called a Myotron.The charge kills of the protein in a snake bite that kills the victim. It is similar to a stun gun but it is different. It will neutralize the poison and is also used like a stun gun with an exception. If you use it on a person it will immobilize the person for 15-20 minutes with no possible damage to the person. A stun gun can kill older persons and someone with heart problems. The Myotron won’t. It can be worn on a belt or carried in a pocket. They have been using it in South America for snake bites for many years so it works.
      I am in no way connected with the Myotron company. My situation is that my wife and I have had one each for many years.
      The story about how it came into being is quite interesting. Hope this helps.

      • Dennis

        June 8, 2017 at 2:24 pm

        I forgot to mention that the Myotron is a great self-defense weapon for women and men to carry. It was originally developed for that use.

      • Mike Harris

        June 9, 2017 at 1:39 am

        Like I mentioned earlier there is absolutely no evidence that electric currents help prevent the effects of venom or toxins. The evidence is overwhelming that this south american study done by Guderian were grossly misleading and lacked much important data. Once again I refer back to real medical journals for guidance.(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11434486) (http://www.docsdetecting.com/docsplace/aoi/snakbite.html)

  4. Danny

    June 7, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    In reference to the killings of a snake for ID isn’t a bad idea. However Ck state laws first. For example it is illegal to kill a snake in North Carolina so check with local wildlife officials.

    • equippedcat

      June 11, 2017 at 3:07 am

      “It was self-defense, officer”. 🙂

      I suspect that if the snake bit you, a wise organization would cut you slack. Of course, not all government organizations are wise.

  5. Arthur

    June 8, 2017 at 12:23 am

    One way we have reduced the occurrence of snakes around our home is to have a cat that eats the food the snakes eat. Neighbors have killed copperheads and rattlers, but we have only seen a large black snake in the past 22 years.

  6. Nanook

    June 8, 2017 at 11:30 am

    I get the impression this guy lives in New York City & likes their salsa. Snake bites require special care, but are basically not life threatening if treated properly. In North America there are three types of Vipers: Rattle snakes, Water Moccasins, & Copper Heads. All of them are dangerous, but they are survivable. The greatest danger is to children because of their size, obviously. Wound location is also a determining factor. Coral snakes are more dangerous, but you are far less likely to see one, much less get bit by one as they can only bite soft tissue such as between fingers and toes. All of these poisonous snakes are found within the lower 48. For treatment of their bites, check out “The Survival Medicine Handbook” pages 327 thru 330, by Dr & Nurse Alton. Also, I refer you to “68W Advanced Field Craft Combat Medic Skills” copy write 2010, Please note the following: Do not delay treatment attempting to capture the snake. Do not use suction or cut the wound. Do not place ice on the wound. Do not touch the head of the snake because dead snakes can still bite. Do not transport a live snake with the patient. In the above references you will also learn how to place a bandage to slow the blood flow. #1 is to keep the wound site below the heart! I actually saw a paratrooper die from a snakebite he received when he was recovering his chute ( near Cherry Point, N.C. ‘1975) He took off running & sped the flow of blood to his heart & basically died from a heart attack.

  7. nick

    June 8, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    Does it bother anyone else when a prepped article starts out by telling you to call 911? Turned me off right there. How am I going to call 911 when the grid is down. What exactly are we prepping for. I don’t even understand why this article was put in the preppers journal, many more of these and I’m outta here. Pure BS!!

  8. Kenneth M Benson

    June 8, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    KennyBoy June 8 Who is this guy? In North America,death from snakebite is rare. Copperheads might be attracted to food dumps? Only if it attracts rodents. This is a scare piece by someone who doesn’t know what they are talking about.

  9. BobW

    June 8, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    Where is the medical evidence to back up the author’s contentions? Tourniquet is worse than a bite from a fatally venomous snake? I suppose if you properly cinch the tourniquet around the neck it would be worse…

    I understand that the majority of readers are from North America, and as mentioned the most common snake bites are survivable in NA. I completely agree with calling 911 if bitten in cell range NOW, but the utter lack of thought development in a time period AFTER 911 viability would have been handy.

    Between the lack of proven methodology, and the utter absence of ‘prepper’ focus tells me this is yet another blogger trying to pump up their readership by posting articles to anywhere that will allow them.

  10. Mike

    June 18, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    This ‘author’ doesn’t have a clue…

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