Snakebite Management and First Aid

February 4th, 2011 § 6 comments

BFE Labs is a blog I recently discovered which covers topics such as wilderness survival, weapons, evasion, survival gear, and other subjects that may be of interest to Lone Iguana readers. Their latest article goes through techniques for managing a venomous snakebite, and touches on snakebite prevention, tactics for first aid and field care, and exposing commonly believed myths about snakebite treatment.

Growing up and continuing to live, work and play in the hinterlands of New Mexico, I’ve had more than a few run ins with snakes. As a kid I encouraged “run ins” with non-venomous snakes such as bullsnakes and various racers, catching them and keeping them in a terrarium for a week or two before returning them to the wilds. However, there have also been the run ins I did nothing but discourage, those with venomous snakes, particularly rattlesnakes.
Over the years I have stepped on, kicked, almost sat or put my hand down on, been crawled over and been struck (in the boots thankfully, both times) by both Western Diamondback and Prairie Rattlers. I’ve had close calls of a less dramatic nature with most other species of rattler in the Southwest, to include Mojave and Timber rattlers. It would be easy to say that so many encounters are the product of foolish and uncautious behavior, but in this part of the world, in an outdoors/rural lifestyle, thats simply the luck that many folks have. Those who are foolish about snakes, have less fortune. For all my close encounters, I have avoided serious injury by being cautious and not acting the fool. You can do exactly the same, even in a snake rich environment.

Venomous Snakebite Management

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