No matter how well you plan, emergencies arise. Are you ready?
If a snake bites someone in your party, the day’s agenda will change! The most important job you have is helping the injured party.
First, let’s dispel a few myths. Rattlesnakes don’t always rattle before striking. They may not rattle if they have just shed their skin.
You don’t have to worry about bites because you have chanced upon a mom snake with her babies. Generally, snakes are live births and the babies strike out on their own rather quickly.
Solutions to Your Snake Problem
- Is the snake venomous? If you don’t know, don’t assume!
- Keep the victim (and the rest of the group) calm.
- Discourage folks from sharing gruesome snake stories!
- Wash the wound with soap and water.
- Keep the victim quiet and discourage them from walking around.
- Keep the bitten area (usually a hand or foot) below heart level.
- Take the victim to the nearest medical facility.
- Don’t waste time trying to kill the snake; many secondary bites happen this way!
This is a rare occurence in the field — but it does happen. How do you handle this?
- If the skin is broken, wash the wound with soap and water.
- Apply pressure to the bleeding, if any.
- Determine if the attack was provoked.
- If the animal attacked without provocation, you must consider rabies!
- Notify the authorities as quickly as possible (county sheriff, etc.).
- Seek medical attention for the victim.
Insect Stings and Spider Bites
Bees and wasps are common pests in the outdoors. Solutions include:
- Wash the sting with soap and water.
- Put a cold pack on the injury for 15 -20 minutes.
- Give aspirin (acetaminophen to children) and apply cortisone cream.
Some folks have an allergic reaction to stings/bites:
- Their wound swells quickly – beyond normal bounds (toe sting swells the whole leg, etc.),
- they can have shortness of breath,
- have a sudden drop in blood pressure,
- become anxious and restless,
- have a rapid pulse
THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY! Get medical help immediately!
Black Widow Spider, Brown Recluse or Scorpion
- Clean the wound with soap and water,
- Apply a cold pack,
- Seek medical attention ASAP!
This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com