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Old 09-15-2008, 11:51 PM
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Default Snake bite kit



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Years ago, I bought one of those snake bite kits, that consists of, two large rubber suction cups, that fit together and contain several things that a person will need, that has been bitten by a snake. Including a small suction cup.

(The whole kit, being about 2" x 1")

I used to keep it in the clove compartment of my car, all the time, until I read an “expert” telling about how these kits, are a bad idea. And about how they don’t work but actually make things worse.

Therefore I put it away, but recently I found it again.

Since then I have learned, that experts are a dime a dozen, because different experts are of different opinions.
--------------------------------------------------
Does anyone out there, know of anyone that has been bitten by a poisonous snake, and used one of these kits?
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Old 09-16-2008, 12:07 AM
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One of the most useless medical devices ever created. Throw it away, once you inject something into the human body, its gonna take a lot more than a little suction to get it out.
Old 09-16-2008, 12:11 AM
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yeah, anti-vennin is about your only bet.. all that boyscout stuff if out-dated. ternicates are a no no too for all but the real trained experts.
Old 09-16-2008, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stilllearning View Post
Years ago, I bought one of those snake bite kits, that consists of, two large rubber suction cups, that fit together and contain several things that a person will need, that has been bitten by a snake. Including a small suction cup.

(The whole kit, being about 2" x 1")

I used to keep it in the clove compartment of my car, all the time, until I read an “expert” telling about how these kits, are a bad idea. And about how they don’t work but actually make things worse.

Therefore I put it away, but recently I found it again.

Since then I have learned, that experts are a dime a dozen, because different experts are of different opinions.
--------------------------------------------------
Does anyone out there, know of anyone that has been bitten by a poisonous snake, and used one of these kits?
No, don't know anyone that has used a snakebite kit.

However, from a show on snakes I attended years ago, the snake trainer advocated against using a snakebite kit. The primary reasons he argued against using one, is that the premise behind a snakebite kit is to "suck out" the poison before it can spread through the body. Unfortunately, within 1-2 heartbeats, any venom injected has already started to circulate in the body. Also, given that one of the most common reactions people have if/when bitten by a possibly poisonous snake is that their heart starts racing due to fear/surprise/whatever, those 1-2 heartbeats will likely have occurred within a second or less of the inital bite. Therefore, by the time all the work has been done to use the kite (making an incision, applying suction, etc.) the poison has already started circulating. Granted, some might actually be "sucked out" but I would question just how much could be removed in that manner and if it would make a difference since venom is already in the victim's system.

Now, in my copy of the U.S. Army Survival Handbook, it does mention that if medical care is over 1 hour away, a shallow incision can/should be made to try and suction venom away. On the other hand, the SAS Survival Handbook by John "Lofty" Wiseman specifically states...
Quote:
...Never cut a snakebite or try to suck out the poison. (page #441, 5th paragraph)
Also, having consulted my EMT-B textbook Prehospital Emergency Care 8th Ed. by Joseph J. Mistovich, MEd, NREMT-P and Keith J. Karren, PhD, no mention is made of making any incisions or applying any sort of suction when treating a snakebite. Also to my knowledge, snakebite kits are not carried on ambulances, at least not in the area I'm in (CT). Also having taken a look at the Adventure Medical Kit list of med kits, they do not seem to carry or offer a snakebite kit. Given the company's targeted market, namely outdoor and wilderness medicine, it would seem they don't see the value or use of snakebite kits.

I would be interested to see what people who have taken Wilderness medical programs like those offered by NOLS think of snakebite kits. Also, to out Australian members, particularly those with medical training, what are the snakebite treatment protocols in Australia, particularly for the First Responders? AFAIK, Australia is the only country where the hospitals stock snake anti-venom routinely.

-Cheers

Last edited by Todjaeger; 09-16-2008 at 11:56 PM..
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Old 09-16-2008, 12:56 AM
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I guess the experts were right, in this case.
--------------------------------------------------
I will just avoid getting bitten.


Thanks to everyone.


PS.

I hate throwing things away.

Can anybody think of a good use, for this little container, and these suction cups?
Old 09-16-2008, 01:07 AM
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this is going to sound really gross but here goes...
one of my kids had a huge pimple (maybe a boil???) on the back of his upper thigh.
He couldn't get a grip on it to squeeze it (I know, I know)
So he asked me to help him. It was awful.

I grabbed the snake bite kit and let 'er rip!!! It was like helping a volcano errupt. There is no way I could have gotten all that puss out by just squeezing. I feel sick just thinking about that. But it worked! All the swelling went down, and it didn't leave a bruise.

NOW the snake bite kit has a special place in our first aid cabinet. KEEP IT AROUND!!!
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Old 09-16-2008, 01:15 AM
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I had a large cyst like that once, I stuck a 20ga IV catheter into it and drained it with a 20cc syringe attached to the catheter.. Worked like a charm and a helluva lot less bleeding than cutting it out.


I've worked EMS in several states, most of it in snake country, and have NEVER seen a snakebite kit in a ambulance or hospital...All it does is further damage tissue that's already damaged...
Old 09-16-2008, 05:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stilllearning View Post
I guess the experts were right, in this case.
--------------------------------------------------
I will just avoid getting bitten.


Thanks to everyone.


PS.

I hate throwing things away.

Can anybody think of a good use, for this little container, and these suction cups?
the pill style kit or the lil box kits- i have both from when i was teens.

build mini kits out of them ,may as well use the containers for something


best deal for snake bites is not to be bitten. which means you have to pay mind to where you sit,step,lay etc. If you are just get the hospital, stay calm all that good stuff. Unless you have a allergic reaction to the venom you have plenty of time to get there, so no need to think you'll die in 15 minutes and go all bat crazy. It'll just raise your heart rate more.
Old 09-16-2008, 08:24 AM
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My advice throw it away : put a restrictive band to slow blood flow(not a tournaquit) keep limb below heart, avoid exertion, get yo a$$ to a hospitol
Old 09-16-2008, 11:50 AM
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I'm a nurse and know a lot of emt/medics etc. & all well tell you to forget the snake bite kit , due to increased risk of infection and tissue damage. The upside is some snake bites can be "dry bites" and end up being minor compared to others. There was a guy in our local area who was handling (playing) with his friends pet rattlesnake and of course was bitten. The pics I saw showed his arm to be about 3-4 times its normal size He was laid up for awhile with multiple surgery's he's lucky to have an arm left.This all happened less than 3 miles from a Hospital, I don't think a kit would have helped at all. Best bet is to be careful & avoid getting bit.
Old 09-16-2008, 12:57 PM
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Current recommendation is 1) do not clean the wound because they may need to swab it to identify the venom and 2) wrap the entire limb like it had a sprain 3) splint it and 4) keep below the heart level. Seek medical attention.

That said there are two issues, kind of snake and kind of kit. Kits usually don't help bites from snakes with venom that affect the blood. One kit does have an effect on venom from snakes whose venom is a neurotoxin. That kit has a manual suction device. Most snakes in the US affect the blood not the nerves (the exceptions are the coral snake and the tiny ring snake.)
But I do have a kit because it is good for stingers, splinters, and spider bites.

What bothers me is they never give out advice for when medical help is a day or two away or more.
Old 09-16-2008, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sh4d0wm4573ri7 View Post
get yo a$$ to a hospitol
Okay, I drove two hours to park, walked four hours to lake, no cell service, no rangers, no people. I'm bit by a two foot long rattlesnake. What do I do? Git my a$$ to a hospitol, comes to mind, thank God for me reading the internet. I thought this site was for learning how to deal with survival skills? If all we have to do is dial 911 or rush to hospital, what skills were used? So, when SHTF, we kick back, call for pizza and wait for FEMA?? I've got three different snake bite kits. One is from a FAK from line crew truck. Used the sawyer one on insect bites and boils. I've never been bitten, yet. Did you ever use baking soda paste on a wasp bite? Does that mean you carry baking soda in your FAK for that reason? One guy used an ammonia swab on wasp bite.
As for the being no snake kits in ambulance or hospitals?? My wife spent six hours in pain on an ambulance run because doctor only gave her pain med for three hours, ride lasted over nine hours due to weather. And emt couldn't give her any pain meds, cause he didn't have orders to.

Last edited by bltjr1951; 09-16-2008 at 04:59 PM..
Old 09-16-2008, 11:04 PM
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Default Are You a Snake Charmer then forget the kit.

I just finished a Grid Down Medical Course. We had an experienced EMT, a nurse & a doctor doing the training.
About snake bites; Forget the kits. Use them for something else.
Here's the stats. 70% of snake bites the snake never injects venom either cause their empty or just wanted to get your attention. They usually only inject if they want to eat you. Your pretty big.
Less than 2 people a year die from snake bites. You have better odds of winning the lottery.
Don't cut the bite, you can damage underlying tendons & cartilage not to mention adding infection.
Now let me add what they said about spiders. I know its slightly off thread topic but;
Black Widow's bite like a bad wasp sting on most people.
Except the allergic reactions.
I carry an Epi pen in my first aid kit & you should get one for your medical kit to.
Epi pens; remove cap, place on thigh, push cap hold for 10 to 15 secs.
They can save lives when your airways are being compromised, either form something you ate or from allergic reactions to being stung or bitten by a Spiders, bees, wasps etc.
The little bugger to watch out for is the Brown Recluse Spider. Also called the Fiddler spider. They don't kill their victims the just rot them.
You should be absolutely familiar with what this little critters size & looks like(see Wikipedia for pictures & size)

A minority of brown recluse spider bites form a necrotizing ulcer(he death of most or all of the cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury, or failure of the blood supply) that destroys soft tissue and may take months to heal, leaving deep scars. The damaged tissue will become gangrenous and eventually slough away. The initial bite frequently cannot be felt and there may be no pain, but over time the wound may grow to as large as 10 inches (25 cm) in extreme cases. Bites usually become painful and itchy within 2 to 8 hours; pain and other local effects worsen 12 to 36 hours after the bite with the necrosis developing over the next few days.

Serious systemic effects may occur before this time, as the venom spreads throughout the body in minutes. Mild symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fever, rashes, and muscle and joint pain. Rarely more severe symptoms occur including hemolysis, thrombocytopenia, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. Debilitated patients, the elderly, and children may be more susceptible to systemic loxoscelism(localized death and decomposition of body tissue). Deaths have been reported for both the brown recluse and the related South American species L. laeta and L. intermedia.

The good news that don't usually bite you unless they get squished & the bad news treatment is a bitch. The nurse trainer got bit & he said the pain was awful. Felt good, then starting building like a burn till 15 mins. later he was begging for mercy. Took several months to heal & left some nasty scars.
Oh almost forgot these little buggers are all over North America.
Best defense is a good offense: KNOW YOUR ENEMY
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:19 PM
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As I was reading these responses, I just remembered something that I heard a few years ago.

I heard that if you are bitten by a poisonous snake, that if you use a taser on the wound, than that will stop the poison from spreading!

Something about how a “Hi amp & low voltage” shock, does something.

-Has anyone else heard about this!-
--------------------------------------------------
I don’t own a taser, but if this was the case, it would be a good reason to get one.
Old 09-17-2008, 12:03 AM
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1983 I was squirrel hunting in the woods of central Oklahoma. It was early fall, mid September and I had hiked in over a mile from my truck.

Mid day I sat down to eat lunch and a copperhead hit me in the back of the calf, just above the boot.
I knew from the intense fire that he had injected me. Now I had the ole snake bite kit and I applied it fast. Sucked out a lot of the poison right there. Then I put a restrictor on my leg and started for the truck. Over a mile hump with a leg that was hurting like hell. Then another 17 miles over to the Hospital at Norman.

No cell phone, no 911, no, Ive fallen and cant get up. It was just me.

The Doc said that little snake bite kite probably saved my life and at the least it didn't make matters worse.

Do what ya want or dont, as for me, I will continue to keep that snake bit kit around. Hell just two nights ago I had a copper head hit me twice but I had thick canvas brush pants so he didnt penetrate. I also had my trusty S&W and guess who lost..............
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stilllearning View Post
As I was reading these responses, I just remembered something that I heard a few years ago.

I heard that if you are bitten by a poisonous snake, that if you use a taser on the wound, than that will stop the poison from spreading!

Something about how a “Hi amp & low voltage” shock, does something.

-Has anyone else heard about this!-
--------------------------------------------------
I don’t own a taser, but if this was the case, it would be a good reason to get one.
Wholly crap!! that is either really funny or is this another urban legend? Course if the snake didn't get you I don't know about that Tasering myself if I had a Taser handy. Kinda like which poison is worse for you???
Only did that once when I reached into my gunsafe by the bed an accidentally touched the trigger on my taser & the contacts at the same time. My hand & arm came out so fast found myself in another time zone.

Last edited by gunguy; 09-17-2008 at 12:10 AM.. Reason: spelling
Old 09-17-2008, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 53convert View Post
1983 I was squirrel hunting in the woods of central Oklahoma. It was early fall, mid September and I had hiked in over a mile from my truck.

Mid day I sat down to eat lunch and a copperhead hit me in the back of the calf, just above the boot.
I knew from the intense fire that he had injected me. Now I had the ole snake bite kit and I applied it fast. Sucked out a lot of the poison right there. Then I put a restrictor on my leg and started for the truck. Over a mile hump with a leg that was hurting like hell. Then another 17 miles over to the Hospital at Norman.

No cell phone, no 911, no, Ive fallen and cant get up. It was just me.

The Doc said that little snake bite kite probably saved my life and at the least it didn't make matters worse.

Do what ya want or dont, as for me, I will continue to keep that snake bit kit around. Hell just two nights ago I had a copper head hit me twice but I had thick canvas brush pants so he didnt penetrate. I also had my trusty S&W and guess who lost..............
How did it go with the bite?? Problems, pain time to recover. Thank God we don't have any really poisoness snakes here in Western Washington except down the capitol building area.
Old 09-17-2008, 12:22 AM
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Would seem your SHOCK THERAPY has some merit. Check this article out.

http://www.wemjournal.org/wmsonline/...e=02&page=0111
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:23 AM
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Hi gunguy

This might be an urban legend, but a lot of people are talking about it.....

During the past 2 decades, articles suggesting that stun guns be utilized to treat venomous bites and stings have appeared in both the lay and medical press. Although never widely considered to be standard therapy for venomous bites and stings, stun guns are still considered to be a treatment option by some medical practitioners and outdoor enthusiasts. A Medline search was performed using these terms: venomous bites, venomous stings, snake bites, spider bites, electrical, stun gun, high voltage electricity, low amperage electricity, direct current, and shock therapy. Articles selected included laboratory-based isolated venom studies, animal studies, and case reports involving humans in which a stun gun or some other source of high voltage, low amperage direct current electric shocks were used to treat actual or simulated venomous bites or stings. We concluded that the use of stun guns or other sources of high voltage, low amperage direct current electric shocks to treat venomous bites and stings is not supported by the literature.

http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/snake_bites.html
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Old 09-17-2008, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunguy View Post

I carry an Epi pen in my first aid kit & you should get one for your medical kit to.
Epi pens; remove cap, place on thigh, push cap hold for 10 to 15 secs.
They can save lives when your airways are being compromised, either form something you ate or from allergic reactions to being stung or bitten by a Spiders, bees, wasps etc.
EPI pens are prescription only, and for that you have to show need.
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