How To Treat A Rattlesnake Bite – Tips You May Not Know!

How To Treat A Rattlesnake Bite – Tips You May Not Know!

Treating a Rattlesnake Bite –

How To Avoid, Identify, And Treat A Rattlesnake Bite!

what to do if bit by a rattlesnake

Let’s say you find yourself spending time outdoors, maybe going for a nice little hike or camping trip. Everything seems to be pretty peaceful and quiet, that is until you hear a shaking sound that cuts through the air like a hot knife through butter! You know this sound could only mean one thing.. You’ve stumbled upon a rattlesnake! This snake happens to be a rather large and venomous snake, usually living throughout North and South America. Typically, a very small percentage of bites in the US have been known to result in a fatality. However, a major factor on whether you will survive a rattlesnake bite is time.. Do you really know how to treat a rattlesnake bite?

Avoid An Encounter – Rattlesnake Prevention

Handle A Rattlesnake Bite

If you ever run across a rattlesnake in the wilderness, do NOT bother or provoke it if possible. This rule should apply to most wildlife, as well as the venomous rattlesnakes. Treat the local wildlife with respect as you are an invader in their home. Typically, any rattlesnake you come across will usually not strike unless it’s in defense. Meaning, if this snake is given enough room it might just leave you alone. The last thing you want is some searing hot rattlesnake venom flowing through you, these guys aren’t to be played with.. However, these snakes can be surprised and accidents DO happen!

Rattlesnake fact:

Most rattlesnake bites occur between the months of April and October, when the snakes are most active. Rattlesnakes tend to come out at the end of the day. Typically, just as the sun goes down and nightfall comes. In the summertime, these snakes are mostly active around dark hours. Try bringing a flashlight when out at night to better see your surroundings!

If you want to steer clear of rattlesnakes, it’s best to avoid going in any tall grass where you can’t see your footing. Venomous rattlesnakes love to hang around places covered in weeds and brush. Also, one should take caution when near rocky areas or places that might give rattlesnakes shelter. (These guys have even been known to take refuge in firewood piles so beware!) If you can, try to stay on any trails where you can see what’s ahead of you. Overall, watch your step! If possible, maybe invest in a nice pair of hiking boots to better protect your ankles.

Rattlesnake Bite Symptoms – Know Your Bite

What if you or someone else doesn’t see the snake when it strikes? One way to learn how to treat a rattlesnake bite more effectively is to know your symptoms! If a rattlesnake bites you, signs and symptoms may be mild to severe, and can take minutes to hours before you feel anything after being bitten. You may not feel anything at first. However, you can expect some of the following symptoms to come. Common symptoms include:

  • low blood pressure
  • Sweating
  • severe pain
  • thirst
  • weakness in the muscles
  • Tiredness
  • drooping of the eyelids

first aid for snake bite

However, some snake bites can be mistaken for a rattlesnake bite when it’s not. It’s recommended you learn more to be safe. For more information about snakebite symptoms, see our Common Snakebite Symptoms Map.

Rattlesnakes can usually be identified easily. These guys have rattles at the end of their tails, hence the name, which tend to be plenty visible. The rattlesnake actually uses this anxiety-causing, yet pretty effective tool as a warning device. When a rattlesnake feels threatened, it will shake it’s rattle to produce a sound. This is basically a warning to anyone that the rattlesnake feels you’re a little too close for it’s comfort.. Rattlesnakes account for many of the venomous bites in the U.S. each year and are known to be one of the largest venomous snakes. Just make sure you know what to do if you see a rattlesnake and you’ll avoid rattlesnake bite symptoms in the first place!

Rattlesnake Bite First Aid Procedure

It’s important for you to first move away from any venomous rattlesnakes you might have come into contact with. The last thing you want after receiving a rattlesnake bite is to receive another one. The next thing you need to do is seek out medical attention as quickly as possible! Most treatments attempted by people before getting to the hospital often don’t help much. Hospitals tend to have the appropriate antivenom and are often very effective with treatment. If you can, try to find help to take you, or the person injured, to a hospital as quickly as possible. This is the best way to make a full rattlesnake bite recovery! If this can’t possibly be an option then there are steps that can teach you how to treat a rattlesnake bite and improve it’s condition!

  1. Take Off Your Clothes! – 

    No, not all of them! When a rattlesnake bites some unlucky individual, it can cause some pretty bad swelling around the bite area. Because of this, your going to want to take off any clothing near the bite so that blood flow is not constricted. If the clothing is too tight, or cannot be removed quickly, you may just have to cut up your clothes. If you are wearing some fancy jewelry around the snakebite, it’s best to remove this to prevent swelling around it. However, sometimes, jewelry such as rings may need to be cut off if too tight.

  2. Let The Snakebite Bleed – 

    This may sound a little strange, to allow a fresh wound to bleed, but you have to remember there is rattlesnake venom in this wound! We’re not telling anyone to start bleeding all over the place, either! However, you should allow the snakebite to bleed for a minute. This might just allow some of the venom to come out of the wound.

  3. Pump Suction Device –

    rattlesnake bite recovery tools
    Click Here For More Information

    If you have a pump suction device such as the one available here, you can also try to suck out some of the venom. This is one way people go about treating a rattlesnake bite. Never use your mouth because the human mouth is full of bacteria that could cause further infection. The pumps are easy to use and will often come with instructions on how to use them. Basically, how it works is you put the pump over the snakebite area to help suck out the rattlesnake venom.

  4. Cover The Snake Bite –

    First find something clean to place over the wound. This will prevent excessive bleeding, just don’t apply too much pressure. Do NOT wash the snakebite, as that can remove the rattlesnake venom from your skin. How could that possibly be a bad thing? Because, medical professionals might be able to use what venom you have on your skin to help in treating your rattlesnake bite. This helps them to figure out what kind of antivenom you need.

  5. Make A Sling or Splint –

    A sling or splint can help keep the snakebite from moving too much. With less movement, it’ll help to slow the blood flow to the affected area. With a slower blood flow, the rattlesnake venom cannot spread as quick. If you don’t have anything else on hand, a torn T-shirt will help you make a quick sling.

  6. Seek Out Professional Medical Help – 

    Once you’ve managed to pull yourself together, it’s important you go to the nearest hospital as quickly as you can! You can’t do much for yourself when it comes to a rattlesnake bite. First aid from medical professionals should be your first priority! If a rattlesnake bite is treated correctly, many of the victims will not have any serious injuries. Now isn’t that a relief!

Rattlesnake Fact:rattlesnake bite kit

According to studies, it’s been estimated that 7,000–8,000 people get bit by venomous snakes in the United States every year, about five result in a fatality.  

How You Should NOT Treat A Rattlesnake Bite

  1. Do NOT apply a tourniquet or stop blood flow – Restricting blood flow might keep the venom from spreading and sound nice to some, but you really do not want to stop it from spreading. Stopping the spread of venom will concentrate in one spot. This will rapidly destroy cells in that area. Allowing it to spread dilutes the toxin and reduces tissue damage left over from the injury.
  2. Don’t ingest anything – Unless medical professionals say it is okay. This includes alcohol, medications, and caffeine.
  3. Don’t apply an ice pack – Some believe this will slow or even stop the rattlesnake venom from spreading, however it doesn’t do much to anything. Actually, some experts even believe that rattlesnake venom makes people more vulnerable to frostbite. So this might actually be worse for you than doing nothing..
  4. Do NOT use your mouth on a snakebite – Trying to suck out rattlesnake venom isn’t something you should do. This is a common myth that can actually end up having a negative effect. This could further damage the tissue around the bite and help spread the venom. Not to mention, the human mouth is most certainly not clean. Doing this will only delay the victim from getting proper treatment. For more information I recommend you check out this article!
  5. Put your knife away – Whatever you do, do not pull out your knife and start cutting into the snakebite. This is not a movie, this is real life and doing this could cause some serious damage to someone.
  6. Stay Calm and DO NOT run – Collect yourself and stay calm. Do not panic and start running around. Walk to safety as to not increase your heart rate. An increased heart rate will speed up blood circulation and speed up the spread of the venom.

rattlesnake bite first aid

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One Reply to “How To Treat A Rattlesnake Bite – Tips You May Not Know!”

  1. I ran into a rattlesnake a couple weeks ago, I thought about picking it up and whipping it like a towel.. Ended up leaving it alone but it did scare me when I went out hiking with my brother. He even had one of those pump things in his backpack so he said he was prepared ha.

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