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Why don't you put ice on a snake bite?


atomic626

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We are in class today and my teacher states that per the national registry we do not put ice on snake bites. Can anyone tell me why this is the case?

What are the possible physiological effects?

If you assume, as you see on T.V., that most people die from a poisonous snake bite, then the ice makes sense right? The ice will vasoconstrict at the site, containing much of the venom, preventing it from entering the general circulation, saving the patient's life!

That is the intuitive, and for ages, the accepted theory. The problem with it is this; very few people die from being bitten by venomous snakes.

Many get sick, some very sick, with or without treatment. But very few die.

So, let's look at it from this new point of view. A person is bitten. Instead of attempting to limit the circulation of venom, we allow it to circulate. The person is kept calm, the site of injury placed below the heart (if possible), the venom circulates, becoming very dilute, they get ill, then recover without permanent injury or illness.

Or, we limit the circulation of venom at the injury site. This causes a high dose of venom to stay localized, limiting the generalized, temporary damage, but doing catastrophic damage locally. The patient survives, only they must now do so without the arm or leg that was effected.

We always want to choose 'life over limb', it's just in this case we would be sacrificing the limb when statistically, there was very little risk to their life.

Does that make sense?

Good question! I'm sorry that asking it in our forum got you a page of jokes instead of the medical info you were looking for, but keep contributing! This is usually a great place to learn.

Welcome to the City!

Dwayne

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Frost bite. More tissue damage than you get from snake bite. And it's just the current way of thinking.

:D:lol:

I will give you 8 trazillion dollars (in small, monthly payments) if you can show any evidence that there is a source for the above info and you didn't simply pull it out of your rear!

And if this is the current 'standard', I'm adding some prayer beads and incense to the jump bag.

No ice because causing frost bite is more detrimental than snake bites? Does anyone have data on how long it takes to cause permanent damage via frost bite to a significant area of tissue using a cold pack?

Just giving you a noogie Spenac.

Dwayne

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I'm sorry that asking it in our forum got you a page of jokes instead of the medical info you were looking for, but keep contributing! This is usually a great place to learn.

I can't speak for anybody else, but I had every confidence that someone like you would come through for her in short order. Thanks for that. But if I do it, that deprives you and others of the motivation to go do a little research for themselves, which is not helpful to them. And letting somebody else answer questions like this keeps some people from accusing me of being a "know it all." Not many, but some people. :lol:

But seriously, I just got distracted by Chuck Norris and completely forgot what the topic was about. :D

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It seems to me in twenty years there has been twenty different new rules on how to treat snakebites. I swear they update the treatment more often then my damn anti-virus updates.

Also with snake bites keep in mind that many are "dry" bites. The snake doesn't envenomate with it's bite. So lacerations and sucking are really not needed. Unless of course your into that kind of thing. Swelling, redness pain and other symptoms are signs of envenomation.

Ironically we have no snakebite protocols, probably because on the west side of the Cascades we have no venomous snakes. Yet we do have a zoo and at least one major herpetologist with a butt load of venomous snakes that I know of. Probably a lot more nobody knows about.

Oh and just for the record I HATE F*ing SNAKES!!!!

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It seems to me in twenty years there has been twenty different new rules on how to treat snakebites. I swear they update the treatment more often then my damn anti-virus updates.

Ever notice that snakebite protocol changes always happen in off-years, in between CPR changes? Coincidence? I think not.

The snakebite treatment guys were actually infiltrated by the American Heart Association twenty years ago, resulting in all these frequent changes. The government won't tell you this, because they are in bed with them, but the voices told me the whole dirty secret when I stopped taking my meds.

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Dust - :D

To the OP - I learned once that the estimated percentage of snakebites that actually have venom in them is something like 33% for adult snakes. Juvenile snakes, being stupid young things, tend to waste venom and stick it in everything that is big and scary, even though it may simply result in a dead bear a little bit down the line. Bit big for a pit viper to eat, unless you're watching the Sci-Fi channel. (But then you get to drool over Michael Shanks...I'm sorry, am I acting girly again?)

I'm going to have to toss out there that you'll get some swelling/redness/pain at the site of any snakebite; even though there is no venom in there, it is still a puncture wound with dirt, bacteria, and everything else that is in a snake's mouth.

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...I'm sorry, am I acting girly again?

You're a girl?

Dammit! How come I'm always the last one to know these things? :x

So, this topic made me a little nostalgic, and I decided to go Google "snake bite kit" in an attempt to find pics of the old 1970's - early 1980's snake bite kits made by Kwik Kold, that had instant ice packs in them. Well, as is common with Google, you find things you really didn't want to see, like...

BN-Snake-bite1.jpg

There were quite a few sites touting snake bite kits as "nipple enlargement" kits. :?

By page 5, it degrades into mostly porn links, and by page 10 you end up with really disgusting photos like this... :shock:

01.jpg

Anyhow, no luck on the old Kwik Kold snake bite kit photos, but they were the "next big thing" for almost a decade.

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I was the same way in college. :lol:

Hey Dust remember this.

Snakebite_kit.jpg

They still make those. Slightly newer, in an ever-so-cheery "look! You're NOT going to die!" yellow and lacking the scalpel, but I've seen 'em advertised and we were taught how to use them (and then saw it get tossed across the classroom) in my wilderness medicine course that was about three years ago.

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