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University of Maryland Medicine
Each year, there are about 7,000 victims in the U.S.--mostly in the summer season.
Poisonous snake bites are medical emergencies. It usually takes several hours for snake venom to kill. The right antivenom can save a victim's life.
Snake bites can cause severe local tissue damage and often require follow-up care.
Poisonous snake bites include bites by any of the following "pit viper" snakes
Healthcare Provider if:
1. Keep the victim calm, restrict movement, and keep
the affected area below heart level to reduce the flow of venom.
2. Wash the bite with soap and water.
3. Remove any rings or constricting items; the affected area may swell.
4. If the area of the bite begins to swell and change color, the snake was probably poisonous.
5. Cover the bite with a clean, cool compress or a clean, moist dressing to reduce swelling and discomfort.
6. Monitor the vital signs (temperature, pulse , rate of breathing, blood pressure ) of the victim. If there are signs of shock (such as paleness ), lay the victim flat, raise the feet about a foot, and cover the victim with a blanket.
7. Get medical help immediately.
8. Bring in the dead snake if this can be done without risk of further injury.
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