22nd Feb 2019 Friday Resus Ready First Aid Trivia

Do we clean a snake bite wound?

The scenario:

You are out bush-walking with your friend. While walking along the tract your friend accidentally steps on a snake that rears up and bites her on the leg before slithering off.  You have your snake bite kit with you. What should you do to the bite wound?

Option 1 – Ask her to sit and stop moving. Call for help.  Roll up her pants leg to expose the wound, clean it to get the venom off to stop it from spreading and then apply a tight bandage to the area.

Option 2 – Ask her to sit and stop moving. Call for help. Keep her pants leg down, leave the bite as is and apply a tight bandage to the area.


Results from the facebook poll are:

  • Option 1 – Expose and clean 17% 17%
  • Option 2 – Leave as it 83% 83%

If you answered Option 2: Ask her to sit and stop moving. Call for help. Keep her pants leg down, leave the bite as is and apply a tight bandage to the area then you would be correct!

Australia is home to some of the deadliest snakes in the world.  Lucky us right?  The good news is that in most cases our slithering friends don’t really seek out humans to hurt them, we are more likely to encounter them by accidentally crossing paths. I am no snake-ologist or herpetologist so I would be useless at identifying snakes and which one is venomous and which one wasn’t.  Therefore, if you are similar to me, you would treat every snake bite as if they were venomous until you are told otherwise by a professional.

More good news, not all venomous snakes release venom when they bite. Snakes are smart and they know that they couldn’t possibly eat a human, so they save their venom for a tasty animal more suitable to eat.  In order to conserve their venom but still remain threatening some snakes dry-bite, meaning they bite without releasing venom.  Unfortunately, we don’t know if the venom was released or not so we always treat the bite as containing venom.


This week’s trivia question centers around do we clean the bite to stop venom from spreading or do we leave the bite intact? To answer this question we need to understand how venom effects us.

Snake venom can be fatal to humans when it enters our blood stream and it can also cause a lot of tissue damage around the bite. 

Contrary to popular belief, most snake bites occur in muscle tissue and not directly into a vein or artery.  When the venom is injected into the muscle it moves into our lymphatic system. Our lymphatic system doesn’t have its own pump to move the fluid around, instead, it moves fluid around with the assistance of our muscles.


The only way for the venom to spread around our body and into our blood stream would be from movement of our muscles.  This is why the first part of snake bite first aid is to sit or lie the casualty down in a safe area and stop them from moving, even the movement of trying to roll up their pants leg to expose the wound could involve too much movement so it is recommended to leave clothing as is and to not expose the wound.

Cleaning a snake bite wound is not recommended because when the casualty arrives at a clinic or hospital a swab of the skin/bandages can be used with a snake bite identification kit to identify the species of snake and and appropriate antivenom (if required) can be administered.


After we have the casualty siting or laying down in a safe area, we call for help and apply a Pressure Immobilising bandage.  The first tight pressure bandage is applied to prevent lymph drainage from leaving the effected limb, the immobilisation is to prevent the skeletal muscles from pumping the lymph out of the effected limb.

So to summerise, no cleaning is required for a snake bite wound, keep still, call for help and apply a pressure bandage and immobilise the effected limb.


If you would like to learn how to apply a Pressure Immobilisation bandage why not get a group together for an in home first aid training class.  I’ll come to you with all the training equipment and we can have some fun and learn some first aid. All in the comfort of your own home. Use the button below or contact me at info@resusready.com.au

Business Managers

Take advantage of our onsite training and group discount.

Click here to get in touch

or call 0423 645 555


Thank you to everyone who voted, if you would like to join in the next trivia poll,  like and follow www.facebook.com/resusready  


Have a question related to this weeks trivia, write it in the comments of the quiz post.

The information posted on Resus Ready First Aid Training’s website is for educational, communication and information purposes only and is not intended to replace or constitute medical advice or treatments.

MARCH is CPR Month!

To reward all of my trivia voters and readers I would like to offer you all an exclusive deal.

Use the promo code TRIVIA to attend any of the HLTAID001 Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation classes run by Resus Ready at Hawthorn Library during the month of March for only $50 per person.  This is only for the month of March, prices return to normal in April so don't miss out.

If you were ever curious about CPR and want to learn how to use an automated external defibrillator now is the time!

Classes will be  on Sunday 10th @ 8.30am, Sunday 17th @ 8.30am and Sunday 31st @9.30am

(only need to attend one class, 1 hour of online precourse work and 2 hours of face to face training)

Click here for training dates, more information and to book into a class, seats are limited so book in early.


Resus Ready First Aid Training operates in partnership with Allens Training Pty Ltd RTO #90909 to provide Nationally Recoginised certificates.