snake bite

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snake bite

Postby Saab » Thu 20 Dec, 2007 12:40 pm

Hi there all ........

I would just like to ask ..... with the hot weather picking up ...........how many of you carry snake bite kits ........and what is the S.O.P 's (standard operating procedure) for a snake bite.
Other than wearing gaiters.

I know the medical procedure, but do you find a way back to the car or sit down and send the friend,
but if you are walking by yourself ............

What would you do....?????????
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Re: snake bite

Postby kantonysen » Fri 21 Dec, 2007 7:17 am

Saab, a snake bite is quite unlikely especially when wearing gaiters. However, a bush worker had been bitten earlier in the week in Southern Tasmania. He was able to contact his work mates and was helicoptered to Hospital.
Weeks ago I was at lake Lea and reported a bush fire. Lake Lea does not have mobile phone reception normally; but by dialling 000 I was able to inform authorities in relation to the fire. I have a next g phone and so it gives some security to know that it is possible to make phone contact in an emergency.
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Re: snake bite

Postby Son of a Beach » Fri 21 Dec, 2007 7:22 am

Perhaps a little off-topic, but still vaguely relevant: According to Discovery Channel, as referenced by Wikipedia (surely the two most reliable sources in the universe)...

Jack jumper ants cause more deaths in Tasmania than spiders, snakes, wasps, and sharks combined.
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Re: snake bite

Postby walkinTas » Sat 22 Dec, 2007 8:30 pm

Saab wrote:Hi there all ........
I know the medical procedure, but do you find a way back to the car or sit down and send the friend,
but if you are walking by yourself ............

What would you do....?????????


Saab,

I walked to Mt. Rufus mid November and saw three snakes. A whip snake about 9:30 on the board walk, a very young tiger about 1:00 PM on the summit, and an older black snake (Tiger I guess) about 3:30 by a creek. I didn't see the last one until it moved, and it was very close to where I would have stepped two steps later. Stepping on or close to a snake is one way to get bitten. The other way is to interfere with the snake.

All you need to do when you see a snake is stop and wait for it to move on (step back a couple of steps if necessary). Snakes are timid, fragile creatures and they will quickly move out of harms way if they can.

I always carry a broad elasticized bandage (for snake bites, etc) and two crepe bandages for sprains and the like. Even on short day trips.

I am not medically trained (but my wife is). Bandage the wounded limb with a broad elasticized bandage, starting at the end of the limb (away from the body) well below the wound and bandage up over and past the wound. It should be as tight as you would bandage a sprained angle. Seek medical help as soon as possible.

I have never been bitten by a snake, so sorry no first hand experience (not really sorry). What would I do - that depends on how far away help is and who is with me.

With Friends: Immobilize the limb with a splint. Sit the person down and keep them as still as possible - movement spreads the venom. Do not elevate the limb. Send someone for help (two fastest walkers).

Alone: After applying the pressure bandage I would Immobilize the limb with a splint on either side, secured with a crepe bandage if possible. Then I'd make a judgment about the likely hood of other walkers coming by very soon. I'd wait if help was very likely to turn up very soon otherwise I'd start walking.

If you decide to walk, don't panic, walk very slowly. You could use your whistle to attract attention if other walkers are likely to be in the area.

Don'ts: Do not cut or squeeze or interfere with the wound. Do not apply a tourniquet. Do not remove, loosen or adjust the bandage.

In the Tasmanian bush you don't need to know which snake bit you. The anti-venom is the same for all three snakes.

My understanding is that if you apply a pressure bandage, immobilize the limb and keep the patient still and calm you will slow the spread of the venom and have the maximum time to get help.
Last edited by walkinTas on Sun 27 Jan, 2008 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: snake bite

Postby tasadam » Sun 23 Dec, 2007 9:57 am

Here is some very useful information.

Tas Parks and wildlife site has a page on Snakes of Tasmania.
The bottom few lines of that page is quite amusing...

They have dedicated pages to each of the three types of snakes in Tasmania.

Tiger snake

Lowland Copperhead

White lipped snake

They also have a Living with Wildlife page with a link to the Department of Primary Industries and Water. There, a page can be found -

Living with Snakes

This page also has a link to a downloadable PDF file from the Tas parks site, Living with wildlife - Snakes (right click and "Save target as", or click to open)

These last two links have detailed information including recommended first aid - well worth reading. I just learned myself that one of the early symptoms of Tiger Snake bite is a massive frontal headache.

A few things I can share -
Our recent Walls of Jerusalem overnight walk, we saw 7 snakes - 3 Tigers and 4 White lipped. All but one was on or near the track.
Some snakes have hyperdermic fangs, where the poison is injected like a needle. Some snakes don't - they have a different system -
None of the Tasmanian snake species can truly inject poison, relying instead on it flowing down a groove in the fangs. However, in old snakes the groove overgrows forming a hollow tooth. Tiger Snakes make up for a poor delivery system by having a large quantity of very powerful venom. The venom of the white-lipped whip snake has never been recorded as causing death to a human. Tasmanian snakes cannot bite through shoe leather or gum boots.

The delivery system of the poison running down the groove, therefore, it stands to reason that if the snake bites you through gaiters or something, this will improve your chances of survival as the initial contact fabric or whatever has a chance to restrict or capture some of the venom. Regardless, any bite should be treated as serious.
I always wear my gaiters. I figure that with gaiters, two pairs of explorer socks (one to my knees), long trousers (I never walk in shorts), surely that has got to improve my chances if a bite does occur.
The closest I have come (that I know of....) to what would have resulted in a bite was on my Frenchmans walk in 2005, one more step would have landed my foot right beside the head of a tiger snake, fortunately I heard it then saw it, boy did I back-pedal!! Its head was flattened and wide and it was hissing - I read somewhere that this is a behavior displayed pre-empting a strike.
The last reported death from a Tiger snake bite in Tasmania was a handler in 1977, and the last person killed by a Tiger snake in the bush was in 1966.
Read and learn the information available at the above links. It's good info and can assist to make you a little more comfortable about sharing our wonderful outdoors with them.
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Re: snake bite

Postby Penguin » Sun 23 Dec, 2007 10:14 am

Tasadam and WalkinTas excellent advise.

It is interesting how many mainland walkers are obsessed by the snake problem. Although I can understand it a bit, where my brother lives in NSW the brown snakes chase you! One of our party has actually stood n a tiger snake, it panicked more than he did as they ran in opposite directors.

My solution has been to take my own GP with me on walks as medical insurance. We have spent time over the last five years adding and subtracting from the medical kit. As you point out anaphylaxis is a far greater risk that snake bite, so we carry adrenaline - two of us have vials and syringes. I carry this on day walks also, with bandages and heavy duty pain killers.

The main advise I give mainland friends is to wear gaiters.
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Re: snake bite

Postby norts » Sun 23 Dec, 2007 8:45 pm

The biggest fright I have had was on the South Coast. Tops of the button grass were at about chest height. Big tiger lying on one. I fell backwards when I saw it right by arm. I dont wear gaiters on my arms. Only time I have been worried about a snake.
I always wear gaiters cause it gives you confidence when you cant see where you are putting your feet.

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Re: snake bite

Postby corvus » Sun 23 Dec, 2007 10:19 pm

current first aid instruction is relevent for snake bite in Tas , copperheads are less likely to be encountered whippies are swift as and generally too fast to stop and bite us ,tigers are most active from Feb till April and will give you a fair warning "BARK" b4 they try to strike and even if they do get you chances are that you will only get a small envenomation.
It's their backyard so don't try to kill them ,if they are sleeping on your path wake them up, if they startle you shout OH S**T !! KEECH !! like I do and walk on air backwards :shock:
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Re: snake bite

Postby Joe » Wed 02 Jan, 2008 12:39 pm

There is always this great reference for snake info too ;)

http://www.taswaterfalls.com/article.ph ... 1811020914
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Re: snake bite

Postby TassieMargie » Tue 08 Jan, 2008 9:58 pm

We were doing a short walk not long back, and it was a warm day. We were up the track about 100m and I saw what I thought was a stick, then it moved. We slowly walked towards it and just watched it slither off into the bush, it was beautiful.
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Re: snake bite

Postby kantonysen » Wed 09 Jan, 2008 9:12 am

Last Saturday I was attacked by a ferocious snake on my way out from the Blue Peaks Lakes . It was a tiger snake and I had almost trod on it. Luckily ,it was only about 6 to 8 inches long. It did make me wonder though, what it would be like to be attacked by a fully grown tiger with the same ferocity.
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Re: snake bite

Postby corvus » Wed 09 Jan, 2008 11:20 am

kantonysen wrote:Last Saturday I was attacked by a ferocious snake on my way out from the Blue Peaks Lakes . It was a tiger snake and I had almost trod on it. Luckily ,it was only about 6 to 8 inches long. It did make me wonder though, what it would be like to be attacked by a fully grown tiger with the same ferocity.
Keith
]

G'day Keith,
Were you serious with this comment as that is about the size of a tiger snake when born :?:
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Re: snake bite

Postby kantonysen » Wed 09 Jan, 2008 12:11 pm

Hi Corvus
Yes, I was definitely serious about the size of the snake, it was a black colour. It was shorter than my boot. I had seen an adult whip snake earlier in the day at Middle Lake sunning itself on the rocks, their about.
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Re: snake bite

Postby corvus » Wed 09 Jan, 2008 12:29 pm

Jees Keith,
It must have been an interesting confrontation and having experienced warning "Barks" from full grown tigers I for one would not like to meet this baby when it grows up :shock:
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Re: snake bite

Postby kantonysen » Wed 09 Jan, 2008 3:47 pm

Corvus, I'd reckon (hope) that an adult snake would be able to move away quickly. But, a couple of years ago my feet straddled a adult tiger snake near Shadow Lake. It was about 8.30am and quite cool and so was quite unexpected. The snake slithered away quite quickly. My story is that I levitated for about 5 minutes. :shock:
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Re: snake bite

Postby corvus » Wed 09 Jan, 2008 6:21 pm

Keith,
Thats the best way to treat a close encounter I can still hear my young Scouts carkin themselves when I walked on air coming out from Scott Kilvert when I did the Snaaa Sh!!T and did the air walk backwards (it was at waist height ) on the sunken area near the Fagus just b4 the top of the track. :lol:
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Re: snake bite

Postby walkinTas » Wed 09 Jan, 2008 8:37 pm

kantonysen wrote:Last Saturday I was attacked by a ferocious snake on my way out from the Blue Peaks Lakes . It was a tiger snake and I had almost trod on it. Luckily ,it was only about 6 to 8 inches long. It did make me wonder though, what it would be like to be attacked by a fully grown tiger with the same ferocity.
Keith


Seriously Keith, the snake didn't attack you, you attack it. Its at home now telling its brothers and sisters how a huge bipedal mammal attack it and it scared the big creature away. The poor little baby was only trying to save it own life. :lol:

What is interesting is that you saw a young snake this early. I always thought that Tasmanian Tiger snakes gave birth in late summer. I know Mainland Tiger snakes mate in spring and give birth about now, but I thought ours mated in early summer :?: Any Herpetologists out there?

Whats even more interesting is that I stepped over a similar sized black snake on Mt Rufus on November 18th. Oh no, its climate change! :roll:
Last edited by walkinTas on Thu 10 Jan, 2008 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: snake bite

Postby kantonysen » Thu 10 Jan, 2008 6:43 am

walkinTas , fair comment , I was in the snake's terrority. I'll be looking out much more carefully next time I venture past. I sighted it at the beginning / end of Blue Peaks track about 2 or 3 minutes walk from the cairn on the hydro road that marks the beginning of the track. I suppose a relative paradise for a snake in that area as there is a small creek, lots of shrubs for shelter, being in a hollow a relatively warm place, and there are open areas to sun itself (track).
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Re: snake bite

Postby cherryw » Wed 16 Jan, 2008 10:55 am

Hi All

I did a walk near Mt Hotham in Vic Jan 06 and also read that wearing gaiters would help if bitten by a snake but I don't think snakes can read. Following a track we walked through the river flats of the river, we crossed a small creek and as we were coming up to another when Robert yelled " *&$%* Look out". My first reaction was to jump which in hindsight probably helped the situation. I think he then yelled "SNAKE" and whilst jumping up and down I looked at my thigh and saw the body of a snake wrapped my thigh and calf. What do you do in this situation? Act in a clam and rational way, not me I just did the Highland Fling and managed to flick it off my leg where it landed in grass about 3-4 metres away and slithered out of this mad humans way. On talking to Robert he told me he saw it standing up about 1.2 metres (4ft) with its head and neck flat and mouth open ready to strike. I may have put my walking pole on it in the grass and it reared up. After the old ticker settled we slowly moved past where the snake had gone and went on our way.

I was not bitten but felt very lucky and since then have been weary of all snakes. The snake by the way was a red-bellied balck snake.

Wayne

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Re: snake bite

Postby corvus » Wed 16 Jan, 2008 11:18 am

I hope you had a change of underwear :shock:
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Re: snake bite

Postby cherryw » Wed 16 Jan, 2008 12:09 pm

Only myself and the laundry lady will ever know how close I came.
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Re: snake bite

Postby walkinTas » Wed 16 Jan, 2008 12:26 pm

What an amazing story. I am pleased that both you and the snake survived the encounter. I'll add spare undies and heart tablets to the survival kit.
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Re: snake bite

Postby Joe » Wed 16 Jan, 2008 12:55 pm

christ on a bike thats a touch intense isnt it!
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Re: snake bite

Postby kantonysen » Wed 16 Jan, 2008 9:02 pm

hells bells cherryw, I have sometimes wondered how high an aggressive adult snake can strike. Pretty scarey.
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Re: snake bite

Postby TassieMargie » Thu 17 Jan, 2008 12:16 pm

I almost had to go and change my undies after reading your story cherryw. Freaky
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Re: snake bite

Postby corvus » Thu 17 Jan, 2008 2:27 pm

cherryw you will be pleased to know this snake "rarely causes death or are considered potentially leathal" :o check out this link
http://www.avru.org/general/general_redbellied.html
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Re: snake bite

Postby corvus » Thu 17 Jan, 2008 6:25 pm

Been talking to a Herpetologist and he said"tigers dont attack ever" and that "they are very slow growing and a 30 cm specimen is last years birth" this sounds logical as the baby tiger feeds mainly on baby skinks which are normally born mid Summer also as tigers normally mate Feb March it would stand to reason that as a viperous reptile they would only give birth just prior to this but hell Im no expert and they still scare the jobby out of me,so I just leave them well alone when I encounter them and do the arial back walk :shock:
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Re: snake bite

Postby cherryw » Fri 18 Jan, 2008 9:32 pm

corvus wrote:cherryw you will be pleased to know this snake "rarely causes death or are considered potentially leathal" :o check out this link
http://www.avru.org/general/general_redbellied.html


Try telling that to the snake wrapped around my leg. The funny thing was that after our pulse rates settled down my so called mate thought that the highland fling was one of the funniest things he had ever seen.
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Re: snake bite

Postby Speculator » Sat 19 Jan, 2008 11:18 am

cherryw wrote:Only myself and the laundry lady will ever know how close I came.


I can imagine! i just pood a little myself reading that! :wink:
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Re: snake bite

Postby Son of a Beach » Sat 19 Jan, 2008 3:09 pm

'tis a shame your walking partner was not quick enough to get a photo of it! But I guess nobody is that quick.
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