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Snake Bite First Aid

snake bite first aid

Do you know how to treat a Snake Bite?

Watch a trainer get bitten by a snake and recieve treatment from a student.

Did you know over 90% of snake bites are a dry bite!

If someone is bitten by a snake, you won’t know if it’s a dry bite or a venomous bite – so to be safe, always treat any bite as a venomous bite and call 000. Ensure to do the best you can to apply pressure to the site and read on for more information.

What is a dry bite, I hear you ask?

A Dry bite is when the snake strikes but does not release venom into its victim, this is like a warning shot from the snake. If the bite is venomous, other symptoms may include excess salivation, like when a dog bites a Cane Toad, a stinging or burning sensation on the skin and feelings of nausea or dizziness. In severe cases, the bite may result in paralysis or coma.

Snake Bite First Aid

SNAKE BITE FIRST AIDKnowing what to do

If bitten by a snake and providing the correct first aid is essential in this potentially life threatening situation.

How does snake venom get around your body.

Snake venom is carried in the lymphatic system and not in the blood stream, as many mistakenly believe. That’s why the main aim of snake bite first aid is to reduce lymphatic flow by applying a compression bandage over the affected limb. This is known as the Pressure Immobilisation Technique (PIT).

Immediate first aid should be applied to any snake bite victim.

Step 1

Cover area

Lay patient down and keep them still, do not identify the snake

Lay the victim down and provide reassurance. Call 000. Do not move the victim unless further danger is present. Firmly apply a broad compression bandage over the bite site, cling wrap can be used here.

Step 2


Do not wipe or clean the bite site

Ensure not to wipe or clean the bite site, you may cover the bite with a non absorbent dressing. Ensuring to start at the bite site with compression and wrap the bandage up the limb. try to get the compression all the way to the groin or arm pit.

The compression bandage should be firm enough to reduce lymphatic movement but not constrict blood flow. Ensure you leave the tips of the toes/fingers out to monitor circulation.

Step 3


Cover the entire limb and mark the bite site


Once the entire limb has been covered, mark the bite site with a pen or some dirt from the ground. This is helpful for emergency services personnel.

Step 4


Apply a splint if accessible and call for help

Splint the limb (including joints) to prevent movement. For bites to the leg, this can be achieved by strapping the legs together using slings or other suitable material.Bites to the arm can be supported in a sling or splinted. Do not remove the bandage once applied. Make the victim comfortable and continue to provide reassurance until arrival of emergency services.

  • DO NOT wash the bite site
  • DO NOT attempt to cut the venom out of the limb
  • DO NOT attempt to suck the venom out of the limb
  • DO NOT apply a tourniquet to the limb
  • DO NOT move the person unless in immediate danger
  • DO NOT try to catch and identify the snake

Venomous Australian Snakes 


Australia has around 100 types of venomous snakes, 12 of which are capable of killing a human being with their bite.

The most dangerous Australian snakes include the Taipan, Tiger Snake, Brown Snake, Black snake, Death Adder, Copperhead, Mulga and Rough-scaled snake.

In Australia, anti-venom is available for all venomous snake bites by indigenous snakes. Identification happens via any venom found on the clothes or the skin, which is why you should never wash or suck the bite out or dispose of clothing.

Get the ultimate training for snake bites and the entire range of first aid emergencies. Our First Aid and CPR Courses are considered the best on the Gold Coast will teach you to treat a patient that has received a snake bite.

For bookings call 07 55205068 or book your first aid training on the Gold Coast here