(7) Identify or be able to describe the snake, but only if it can be done
without significant risk for a second bite or a second victim.
(8) Safely and rapidly transport the victim to an emergency medical facility
unless the snake has positively been identified as harmless (non-venomous).
Remember, misidentification could be fatal. A bite without initial symptoms can still be
dangerous or even fatal.
Provide emergency medical care within the limits of your training.
(10) Remove constricting items on the victim, such as rings or other jewelry,
which could cut off blood flow if the bite area swells.
(11) If you are in a remote area in which transport to an emergency medical
facility will be prolonged, apply a splint to the affected limb. If you do apply a splint,
remember to make sure the wound does not swell enough to make your splint a
tourniquet, cutting off the blood flow. Check to make sure the casualty's toes and
fingers are still pink and warm, that the limb is not going numb, and that pain is not
(12) If the soldier has been bitten by a dangerous elapid (coral snakes,
coberas, mambas, and so forth) and have no major local wound effects, you may apply a
pressure immobilizer. This technique is mainly used for Australian elapids or sea
snakes. Wrap a bandage at the bite site and up the extremity with a pressure at which
you would wrap a sprained ankle. Then immobilize the extremity with a splint using the
same precautions concerning limiting blood flow. This technique may help prevent life-
threatening systemic effects of venom, but may also worsen local damage at the wound
site if significant symptoms are present there.
(13) While applying mechanical suction (such as with a Sawyer Extractor)
has been recommended by many authorities in the past, it is highly unlikely that it will
remove any significant amount of venom and it is possible that suction could actually
increase local tissue damage.
(14) The two guiding principles for care often conflict during evacuation from
(a) First, the victim should get to an emergency care facility as quickly
as possible because antivenin (medicine to counteract the poisonous effects of the
snake's venom) could be life-saving.
(b) Second, the affected limb should be used as little as possible to
delay absorption of the venom.