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How To Treat a Rattlesnake Bite

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How To Treat a Rattlesnake Bite © Tracy Saker, used with permission
Most people who live in Arizona never see a snake their entire lives, except maybe at the zoo. But if you are unfortunate enough to be bitten by a snake, it is rarely fatal. Especially if you follow these tips.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: Not much, I hope

Here's How:

  1. Don't know what kind of snake bit you? There are many varieties of snakes in the Phoenix area, some of which are venomous and some which are not. The most venomous snakes that are the most dangerous to your health in this area are the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake and the Arizona Coral Snake (also known as the Sonoran Coralsnake).
  2. Look for symptoms. If the area of the bite begins to swell and change color, the snake was probably poisonous. For specific symptoms that may occur after being bitten by a snake, visit the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy.
  3. Keep the bitten area still. You can immobilize the area with an improvised splint made from a board, magazines, or other stiff material tied to the limb. Don't tie it too tight---you don't want to reduce blood flow.
  4. Remove any jewelry or constricting items near the affected area in case of swelling.
  5. Keep the area of the area of the snake bite lower than the heart.
  6. Go to a hospital immediately. If you cannot get to a hospital, call the Arizona Poison Control and Drug Information Center at 1-800-362-0101 immediately.

Tips:

  1. DO NOT use ice to cool the bite.
  2. DO NOT cut open the wound and try to suck out the venom.
  3. DO NOT use a tourniquet. This will cut off blood flow and the limb may be lost.
  4. Avoid rattlesnakes altogether. If you see one, don't try to get closer to it or catch it.
  5. Keep your hands and feet away from areas where you cannot see, like between rocks or in tall grass where rattlesnakes like to rest.
Related Video
Identifying Poisonous Snakes

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