Treating A Snakebite


  1. Remain calm, but act swiftly, and chances of survival are good. (Less than one percent of properly treated snakebites are fatal. Without treatment, the fatality rate is 10-15 percent.
  2. Immobilize the affected part in a position below the level of the heart.
  3. Place a lightly constricting band 5 to 10 centimeters (2 to 4 inches) closer to the heart than the site of the bite. Reapply the constricting band ahead of the swelling if it moves up the arm or leg. The constricting should be placed tightly enough to halt the flow of blood in the surface vessels, but not so tight as to stop the pulse.
  4. Do not attempt to cut open the bite or suck out venom.
  5. Seek medical help. If possible, the snake's head with 5 to 10 centimeters (2 to 4 inches) of it's body attached should be taken to the medics for identification insures use of the proper antivenom.