Venomous Snakebite: Emergency First Aid

Snakebite Emergency: First-Aid Information


  1. allow bite to bleed freely for one minute
  2. remove constrictive clothing, shoes, watch or rings
  3. cleanse/disinfect bite thoroughly if possible for 30 seconds
  4. apply hard direct pressure with gauze pad over bite area
  5. strap pad tightly in place with adhesive tape
  6. soak gauze pad w/BETADINE if possible before application
  7. wrap affected extremity with 2"-3" elastic bandaging
  8. wrap as tightly as one would for a sprain
  9. keep affected extremity positioned at or as close to heart level as possible
  10. immobilize affected extremity; use a splint if possible
  11. get medical attention as soon as possible. In India, anti snake venom serum is available at most public hospitals.
  12. identify (and/or kill & bring) offending species of snake ONLY if safe to do so


  1. Don't eat or drink anything
  2. Don't engage in strenuous physical activity
  3. Don't cut or incise bite marks; do not apply oral suction to bite
  4. Don't take alcoholic beverage or any medication
  5. Don't delay seeking medical attention
  6. Don't apply cold or hot packs or a constrictive tourniquet
  7. Don't apply electric shock of any kind
  8. Do not remove dressings/elastic wrap until arrival at hospital

This webpage is for informational purposes only. No liability is assumed or implied in its use. A checklist of snakes found in the University of Pune Campus is available.

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Last modified on: Tue Feb 26 20:05:37 2002