WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE BITTEN

  1. Move away from the snake and call emergency Services at '999' and get to a hospital. Seek medical care without delay. Even a bite from a non-venomous snake may require a tetanus shot or booster. 

  2. Take note of the snake's appearance. This is important, as treatment varies. Don’t try and catch or kill the snake, but take a picture if you can, or try and remember its shape and colour.  A positive snake ID can really help the doctors to help you better.

  3. Be as still as possible. If you're waiting for help to arrive, lie down on your back and take deep, steady breaths. 

  4. Clean the wound with water. Be gentle.

  5. Remove clothing, jewellery, or constricting items. 

  6. If you don’t know your snakes, it is better to immediately apply a pressure bandage or a piece of cloth around the bite as well as above and below the bite, as recommended by the British Army. Elastic wraps that you use for ankle sprains work well. Wrap it snugly, but you should still be able to put a finger under the bandage. However in some cases wrapping may not be advised. For example if the bite is from a snake with hemotoxic venom like the White Lipped Viper it could result in worse tissue damage, as you are concentrating the venom in one place and as most bites in Hong Kong are from this snake, it is worth noting.

DO'S & DONT'S

  1. No food or drink – especially not alcohol.

  2. No stimulants or pain medication.

  3. Receive antivenom. Experienced doctors use with great caution as it carries its own risks. 

  4. Caution… in remote areas like rural China hospitals may not have anti-venom, and some physicians lack experience. For a realistic account of snakebite in rural china read this great account by Professor Kevin Messenger: www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=13176

  5. Wait it out. If you are far from help and waiting for them to come to you, then simply get as comfortable as possible and wait for the venom to leave your system. Almost half of all bites are “dry bites”, which means no venom was injected and it is possible that the snake did not inject enough venom for the bite to be fatal. 

REMEMBER: Don't try to suck the venom out, Don't cut the skin around the wound, Don’t apply a tourniquet, Don't apply ice

This information courtesy of www.wildcreatureshongkong.org, check out the site for more great info on Hong Kong's wildlife!