More on Snakebite

Submitted: Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 09:57
ThreadID: 135916 Views:2863 Replies:2 FollowUps:12
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Greg's post on RFDS advice was a couple of weeks ago so I thought to put up this anecdotal ABC item as a new post. It makes the scenario somewhat more real.

And for something really scary, click on the link "I thought it was bark" which is at the foot of the above article.
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Member BarryG - Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 11:34

Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 11:34
I'm not sure if this has mentioned before but we should all have at least one of these in our first-aid kit: Smart Snake Bandage
They make it easy to get the bandage tension exactly right!

Barry
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 11:42

Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 11:42
Good on you Barry!

Was just about to ask if someone could put up a link to these.

Thanks,
Bob
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Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 12:08

Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 12:08
Good work Barry, had seen these before, but never think about them as I know how to bandage through past practice sessions.

They are a really good idea for * 2 * in anyone's kit, that way you can be sure to get a bit of overlap (at least 1/3) and go right up a leg limb for example.
And you always start at toes or fingers (leave tips exposed), even if bite is on mid leg or forearm, as if you bandage down the limb to these you create uncomfortable pressure at the extremities.

If you've already got a couple of 4" compression bandages, then a little practice to see how much pressure is needed without stopping blood circulation is a very good idea.
One of the big no nos is removing bandages once applied, so if too tight and you cut blood supply, it is a real issue.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 12:31

Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 12:31
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After wrapping insulation tape on cables for many years without stopping the flow of electricity, I may have a fair idea of wrapping compression bandages without stopping the flow of blood. lol
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Allan

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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 13:07

Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 13:07
Don't see the relationship Allan, but it doesn't take a lot of pressure to do the job on the lymphatic system, and it doesn't take much more pressure to have the toes / fingers starting going numb !
Personally think these bandages need to be unrolled and rerolled once a year anyway, the surfaces seem to stick together after a while, a good chance to try it out.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 13:20

Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 13:20
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Did you miss the "lol" Les?
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Allan

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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 13:23

Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 13:23
"without stopping the flow of electricity" was a good pun too :D
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 12:10

Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 12:10
Back in the mid-80's Allan, we were working on a large station on the Barkly Tablelands, when a jackaroo was bitten by a Mulga snake.

Bit of a story attached so I'll try to be brief. The stockcamp were camped at a bore about 110 kms from the station and the 'roo was bitten on the lower leg or foot while he, and said serpent, were in his swag.

It seems that the lads had travelled down to the now defunct Frewena roadhouse for some R 'n R, the night before and arrived back at camp, no doubt in a party mood. They all retired to their swags and the victim felt what he thought was someone dragging a whip across his swag.

Early start in the morning and the victim felt something at the foot of his swag and kicked at it. The snake took offence and bit him. Panic stations! In the ensuing excitement the snake fled the scene, while the headstockman bandaged the leg, bundled the now patient, and a couple of "gate openers" into the camp Toyota and headed for the station.

Even though there would have been at least 6 gates to open, they arrived at the station in about an hour, where station staff had been alerted by HF radio, and the station plane was ready for take off, to Tennant Creek hospital.

From what I recall, the young bloke was okay for the almost 4 hr "journey" from swag to hospital, but suffered quite a bit of pain once they removed the bandages at TC hospital. This pain may have been caused by the bandages being slightly overtight, perhaps? He recovered well, and think he was back at the station, at work, within a week or two.

Bob





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Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 12:20

Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 12:20
The pain would, more than likely, be caused by effective bandaging holding back the fluids containing the venom. Once removed, the venom has the opportunity to do what it was designed for (well, not really)... cause pain and damage. Not an uncommon reaction (to an uncommon situation). Good reason to never release bandages until in medical care.

Cheers,

Mark
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 12:25

Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 12:25
Bob, besides comfort, another REALLY good reason to get a good camp stretcher to throw the swag on !!
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 12:26

Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 12:26
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Yes Mark, I was typing (slowly) a response to Bob in the same vein when your Followup came up.

As soon as the compression bandage is removed the venom proceeds to the bloodstream and envenomation symptoms appear..... nausea, headache, drowsiness..... the whole bag. Although I guess pain can also accompany over-tight bandaging.
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Allan

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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 14:46

Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 14:46
Snakes quite often do not inject venom and initially bite as a warning but give a dry bite.
I assume you would not know initially which bite you received though
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 17:18

Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 17:18
Dead right Alby (no pun intended), dry bites are VERY common, especially from the Eastern Brown snake.
They actually don't want to waste it in defense as it is vital to getting their food by killing small prey.

But yeah, you don't know if envenomation has occurred so you must go through the whole shebang, or take the risk.
People expect to see the proverbial 2 fang marks, blood oozing out of them, but very often nothing can be seen, maybe a red scratch so faint it is hardly visible, even at autopsy stage.

When doing snake catching training, it was drummed into us that no one had even died in Australia that had the proper pressure immobilisation treatment done on a snake bite, just those that didn't do the treatment, didn't think they'd been bitten / envenomated, or didn't know they'd been bitten (that 'twig' must have scratched me), and I think it was a couple of rare cases of allergy to antivenom.

A bit of info about the Eastern Brown, responsible for most snake bite deaths in Australia.
Their fangs are only a few mm long, and just wearing long trousers (esp lose denim) is great protection.
While this is so, and their venom yield is very low, it is probably the most dangerous neurotoxins of all land snakes and a minuscule amount is enough to kill a mouse in seconds, or a human in a slightly longer time.

Venom also carries enzymes that break down tissue, which helps snakes swallow their prey, it's already digesting before they swallow it !
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 22:28

Sunday, Nov 26, 2017 at 22:28
Hi Bob

Your story is very similar to a young local lad from a few years ago.

He was a Jacheroo on Bon Bon Station. It was January and the boys slept outside on their camp stretchers.

5 am next morning when it was time for the boys to make an early, Paul was not out of bed. One of the other boys gave his stretcher a kick and told him to get out of bed. Five minutes later and he was still not out of bed. This time they gave him a big shake and still no movement.

They then went and got the head stockman and the RFDS was called in. By the time it arrived, the station people were performing CPR and while on the mercy flight to Adelaide died 3 times and each time the doctor was working franticly.

In the ambulance from the airport to the Royal Adelaide Hospital he died two more times.

While sleeping his hand was over the side of the stretcher and was bitten on the hand by a Mulga Snake, not once, but twice. Doctors said the only thing that saved him was he was sleeping and his watch acting like a Tornakay.


Cheers



Stephen
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