Help! It Bit Me
out of hiding. That includes rattlesnakes. As people who are out in nature, we need to know what to do in case someone is bitten by a rattlesnake.
Of course the best thing is to not get bitten in the first place. Rattlesnakes don't like us any more than we like them so they will avoid us if possible. We need to do the same. If you can travel on open pathways you will see a snake in time to avoid it. Make a lot of noise. It will cause the snake to leave. Don't reach into areas you cannot see, like under a log or rock. Snakes like to hide there.
If you are camping, seal your tent so that snakes are unable to get in. Check shoes, backpacks, and sleeping bags before you use them. Also empty shoes and shake out your clothes before wearing them.
If you get a snakebite anyway, follow these tips. If you are taking care of the victim help them do these things.
01. Get away from the snake to avoid more bites.
02. If it is safe to do so, try to see if the snake is a rattlesnake. The sound of rattles is a good indication.
03. Stay down and stay calm.
04. Remove any jewelry and clothing that may become restrictive as the wounded area swells.
05. Wash the wound with water and soap if possible.
06. Immobilize the bitten area with a sling or other non-restrictive object.
07. Keep the wounded area lower than the heart but do not allow it to hang down.
08. Move as slowly as possible or be carried to transportation.
09. Go to the nearest hospital for medical treatment.
There are some very important DON'TS as well. DON'T try to suck out the venom. DON'T apply a tourniquet or restrictive device of any kind. DON'T cut the bite to make it bleed. You will probably cause more damage. DON'T consume alcohol, caffeine, aspirin, or anything else by mouth. DON'T run or do anything that will increase your heart rate. DON'T, DON'T, DON'T try to catch the snake to take to the hospital. They have antivenin that will take care of any rattlesnake bite.
Now be careful. Do not put yourself into a situation to get bitten. However if you are bitten, please follow these tips and you should be fine. Very few people die from a rattlesnake bite.