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3 March, 2022

Ambo warns of snake danger

As floodwaters begin to recede and residents begin the clean-up process, residents are warned to be careful of snakes being washed into their properties.


Tony Hucker, a QAS paramedic, said care needs to be taken when cleaning up in the yard and around outbuildings like sheds, with snakes 'displaced' by floodwaters finding new places to live.

"While most snakes are non-aggressive, they will attack if they feel threatened, so care should be taken when working in long grass and around sheds and other outbuildings," Mr Hucker said.

"You should always wear long pants, gloves and shoes, they will help protect against bites, as well as other potential injuries.

With only an average of two snakebite fatalities nationally each year, Mr Hucker said good first aid and calling an ambulance were important in responding to a suspected snakebite.

"Even many snakebites turn out to be dry bites, that is, the snake is either non-venomous, or it does not inject any venom into the bite."

Despite this, Mr Hucker said bites should always be treated as venomous, and call for  ambulance assistance.

"The first thing is make the patient relax, reassure them help is on the way, and call for an ambulance.

"When it comes to dressing the wound site, use a clean, dry dressing, that allows the hospital to test to see if venom is involved. Then, apply a broad pressure bandage to the whole limb, toe to hip, or fingers to shoulder, use a second bandage if you need to, as though you were bandaging a sprained ankle.

"Finally, splint the limb, use what you have at hand, a tree branch, piece of wood, to help immobilise the limb, then have them lay down and rest, until the ambulance arrives."

Mr Hucker said always call 000 when reporting snake bites, as they should be treated as an emergency.


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