Worldwide Snakebites


The truth about commercial snakebite kits (including the venom extractor)

As snakebite experts we are frequently asked about first aid for snakebite patients. One of the most common questions is “Do venom extractors and other commercial snakebite kits actually help?” The short answer is no. In fact, most of the advice about snakebite first aid that has circulated over the past 500 years or so (and probably much longer) is bad information. Things like pocket knives, suction devices, tourniquets, gunpowder, vitamin C, freezing, burning, and even electrocution have been advocated for snakebite first aid over the years; the only thing all of these “treatments” have in common is a high likelihood of making the situation worse…

How to survive a snakebite in the wilderness

How to survive a snakebite in the wilderness

Have you ever wondered what you should do if you are bitten by a snake in the backcountry far from medical care? This is a question that comes up frequently enough that we decided to put together a post to answer it. Pretty much everything that is “common knowledge” about snakebite first aid, including the use of tourniquets or venom extractors, is either completely ineffective or potentially dangerous. The only definitive treatment for a serious snake envenomation is the appropriate antivenom, but that doesn’t mean that there is nothing you can do in the meantime. In this post we will provide you with medically sound advice written by snakebite experts detailing what to do if you are bitten by a snake in the wilderness far from medical care so you can make it to the hospital alive and receive the necessary antivenom treatment. Read this post for some information that could potentially save your life, or the life of a loved one, if a snakebite occurs hours or days away from the nearest hospital.