Asked in Snakes, First Aid
First Aid

What should you do if you get bitten by a snake?


Wiki User

If you are bitten by a snake you should seek competent professional medical attention immediately. The snake might have been poisonous or the bite might become infected.
The one practical act that most people do not consider is that you should capture the snake. Many antivenins are specific to the species of snake. Medical professionals can more effectively treat you if they know what type of snake bit you.

If you know that it's a non-venomous species, cleaning the bite area with mild anti-septic is sufficient. Apply a clean dressing if necessary - to protect the bite wound while it heals.

If you're not sure whether it's a venomous snake, apply a pressure bandage to the bite area and immobilise the limb. Lower the bite area below the level of the victims heart and call your emergency services.
Immediately call 911. When you're first bitten by a snake you wont feel any pain at all, but then a few minutes later it will start to swell up and start stinging real bad. You can watch on Animal Planet ''I Was Bitten'' to see them examine poisonous bites. Most of them are snake bites.
It depends on the species ! If you are absolutely certain that it was NOT a venomous species - simply wipe the bite area with antiseptic, and cover with gauze. If you're at all unsure of the species - seek medical advice immediately ! Immobilize the bite area wherever possible - DO NOT use a tourniquet !

Wiki User

If you are bitten by a non-venomous snake:

Wash the wound with soap and water and apply an antiseptic. Then cover with a bandage for a few days.

If you're bitten by a venomous snake:

DO stay calm.

DO call 911 and seek medical attention immediately.

DO remove any jewelry or tight clothing from the bitten area/limb right

away (you'll want it off before the wound and surrounding tissue starts


Do NOT cut the bite site, or create any kind of tourniquet around the wound.

Do NOT put ice on the bite.

Do NOT try to suck the venom from the wound.

Do NOT treat the site with rubbing alcohol or medication.

Do NOT wait for swelling, pain or other common symptoms to manifest

themselves before going to the emergency room.