Snake bite kits - Recommended to replace crepe bandages

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 09:57
ThreadID: 70512 Views:11095 Replies:9 FollowUps:5
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Since I made my own snake bite kit after reading posts on this forum thought I'd alert people to this issue which although I tracked down so I could cut and paste on google, I read today in the Men's Health section of the Australian Financial Review:

This story was cut and pasted from an ABC site:

Most snake bite bandages inadequate: study
Posted Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:23pm AEST

A king brown snake. [File image]. (Getty Images: Ian Waldie)

Map: Darwin 0800
Current guidelines for managing snake bites may be putting people at risk, a new study conducted in the Northern Territory shows.

Elizabeth Canale, a medical student involved in the study, says most emergency medical kits use a type of bandage that does not put enough pressure on a limb to prevent the spread of venom.

Ms Canale says crepe bandages are not as good as elastic sports-type bandages.

She says the guidelines should be reviewed and the quality of bandages sold as 'first aid' needs to be specified.

"It was just simulated bandage scenarios and looking at the pressure people got under the bandage.

"You can get it with crepe but once we put people in an ambulance and drove for half an hour, it didn't maintain that pressure adequately."

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Reply By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 10:42

Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 10:42
Thanks Porl, good info. Willie.
AnswerID: 373728

Reply By: D200Dug- Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 11:20

Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 11:20
Anything is better than nothing !

I know of a snakebite victim who did not exhibit symptoms for 6 hours untill the bandages were released in a hospital with antivenin on standby.

Once the compression bandages were released he he started showing symptoms and was successfully treated.

Crepe bandages, elastic sports bandages, torn T shirts, anything that compresses and immobilizes the area is better than nothing. Start with the best you have and keep wrapping untill you run out of material, the more the better.
AnswerID: 373731

Reply By: tim_c - Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 11:28

Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 11:28
Thanks Porl - you can get 'snake bite kits' from St John Ambulance. I picked one up last time they had their stall in the mall. When I got home, I was surprised to see that it had elastic bandages in it since I'd always read that you should use non-stretching bandages. It sounds like the elastic ones are the better ones to use (hopefully I never need it anyway).
AnswerID: 373733

Reply By: Kumunara (NT) - Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 12:17

Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 12:17

1 to 2 people die in Australia each year from snake bites

33 die from bee stings each year
Life's great and it just keeps getting better

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AnswerID: 373737

Reply By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 13:03

Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 13:03
Thanks for that. Useful info.
Re the bee sting figures, another that surprised me (don't have the figures) is the Victorian yellow jumping jack ant. Very nasty. If my memory is correct, they are cumulative in that the reaction to bites increases if you have been bitten previously. I was with a bloke who almost died from these. We just got him to the Lorne hospital in time. I'm not aware of anything thnat can be done for this bite outside of hospitals, but would welcome anyone's knowledge on this?
AnswerID: 373743

Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 13:41

Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 13:41
The correct bandage is a tightly wrapped crepe bandage overlapped halfway to meet the edge of the preceding wrap.
If the bite site is say mid calf start the wrap over a gauze square then down to the toes then back up the limb as far as is possible, maybe three or four crepes will be needed. Splint the limb, arm or leg from being flexed or extended.
Having said this I am not familiar with a 'sports bandage'.
If a narrow elastic band is applied (known as an ESMARKS bandage) it will cut off the circulation and the tissue immediately below/under this TOURNIQUET will be damaged.The limb below this type of bandage will have no blood flow and will be blue and exceedingly painful and other complications will develop.
A correctly applied crepe is not intended to cut of the blood circulation but is intended to slow down the LYMPH circulation which hopefully will have the snake venom on board.
Depending on the type of snake involved if the bite pierces a large blood vessel VENOUS or ARTERIAL the symptoms will follow very shortly after and will result in serious consequences.
I will endeavour to chase up 'sports bandages' and may be change what I carry in my day pack.
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AnswerID: 373750

Reply By: Flywest - Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 14:10

Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 14:10
I've never been tempted to bite a snake - should I be carrying such a kit in case I am one day so tempted? ;o)

AnswerID: 373754

Follow Up By: Member - Porl - Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 14:11

Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 14:11
tastes like chicken they say.
FollowupID: 640896

Follow Up By: tim_c - Friday, Jul 10, 2009 at 11:38

Friday, Jul 10, 2009 at 11:38
:) So what will your kit include? Knife, fork, salt/pepper shaker...?!
FollowupID: 641094

Follow Up By: Member - Porl - Friday, Jul 10, 2009 at 11:39

Friday, Jul 10, 2009 at 11:39
and a twelve gauge ...
FollowupID: 641095

Reply By: Member - ken b (QLD) - Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 15:42

Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 15:42
mate your not a bushy till you have cooked snake.its just beautifull
AnswerID: 373762

Reply By: Member - Stuart P (WA) - Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 20:44

Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 20:44
less than 20 people have died fom snake bite in oz since 1984. up to 200000 people get bitten by snakes in india,pakistan,sri lanka every year. exact death rates are up to 1000 year if records are to be believed
AnswerID: 373834

Follow Up By: tim_c - Friday, Jul 10, 2009 at 11:42

Friday, Jul 10, 2009 at 11:42
Stuart, some of those countries also have much higher death rates from other causes including riding on the outside of train carriages (I think I read recently that India loses dozens of people daily to this). I certainly hope you're not trying to say that high rates of preventable death (including snake bites) are acceptable. One of the things that has made Australia great is the high value put on human life (generally), particularly when you compare it to many other cultures where life is readily expendible...
FollowupID: 641096

Follow Up By: get outmore - Friday, Jul 10, 2009 at 15:39

Friday, Jul 10, 2009 at 15:39
I think your figures are a bit low - i think at least 14 have died in WA alone in that time.
Your right about the rate being relativly low though.

We like to boast about how deadly our snakes are but in reality australian snakes are hardly a blip on the radar when you talk worlds deadliest.

The russels viper from sri lanka is actually king of the heap. Brown snakes are our deeadliest and even then you have to lump the all together Dugite, Gwarder, penninsula, eastern
FollowupID: 641142

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