- Most doctors agree that the best response to a snakebite is to rush the victim to a hospital emergency room.
- Do not try to remove poison from snakebites. Cutting and suctioning the bite can do more harm than good.
- If possible, carry the victim. Do not allow the victim to walk or run because this can increase blood flow and the distribution of venom.
- Fear and panic aggravate snakebite reactions. Calm the victim as much as possible. Keep the victim in a reclining position to slow the spread of venom. If the bite is on a limb, keep the wound at or below the level of the heart.
Bees, Wasps, and Fire Ants
- Keep the affected area below the heart.
- Remove the stinger from the skin in less than five seconds by gently scraping against it with your fingernail, a credit card, or a knife.
- Apply cold compresses to relieve pain and swelling.
- If it is difficult for the victim to breathe, call 9-1-1.
- A scorpion's painful sting can produce:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- A cold compress will ease some of the pain. Seek medical care in the event of a severe reaction.
- You can reduce the risk of being bitten if you shake out footwear and bedding before use.
- Most spiders are harmless. Two species that present a serious problem are the black widow and the brown recluse.
- The black widow has a shiny, fat, roundish abdomen with a red or orange hourglass marking on the underside.
- The brown recluse ranges in color from dark brown to tan and has a fiddle-shaped mark from the eyes to the abdomen.
- A bite from one of these spiders is rarely fatal, but the effect can be painful. Disinfect the wound with rubbing alcohol, apply a cold compress, and get to a doctor as soon as possible.
- Gila monsters are brightly colored, slow-moving lizards that are capable of defending themselves with a venomous bite.
- The Gila monster's teeth and venom cause considerable pain. They do not inject venom like snakes. Instead, they latch on and chew while releasing a mild venom through the grooves in their teeth.
- If a bite occurs:
- Remain calm.
- Remove the Gila monster quickly by placing a stick between the bite and the back of the lizard's mouth and pushing against the rear of the jaw.
- Flush the wound with plenty of fresh water and allow to bleed.
- If bleeding profusely, apply a compress to the wound.
- Obtain medical assistance.