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First Aid

Absorbed Poisons
Anaphylaxis
Asthma Attack
Bites And Stings From Marine Creatures
Bites and Stings
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Inhaled Poisons
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Open (Sucking) Chest Wounds
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Poisoning
Road Accidents
Sea Snakes
Shock
Slings
Spider Bites
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Sunburn
Swallowed Objects
Tick Paralysis
Tooth Injuries


Bites and Stings

Bites and stings may be poisonous or non-poisonous. Bites and stings from venomous snakes, spiders and marine creatures need immediate emergency treatment. Among the most dangerous of Australia's fauna are the taipan, death adder, and brown, redo,bellied black, copperhead, and tiger snakes; the funnel-web and red back spiders: and box jellyfish, blue-ringed octopus, cone (Conus) shells, stingray, and stonefish.

Bites and stings from non-poisonous creatures may also need medical attention. Pain relief and stitches, treatment to prevent wound infection, and a tetanus booster may be necessary after an animal bite.

Snake bites

Do not waste time trying to identify the snake. Unconsciousness and breathing difficulty can develop quickly, especially, in children.

Signs and symptoms

Puncture,marks on the skin may be visible, but the following may take from 15 minutes to 2 hours to develop:

  • redness and swelling of the bitten area
  • nausea and vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • double vision
  • faintness
  • tightness in the chest and difficult breathing
  • unconsciousness.
Warning

Some practices previously advised in cases of snake bite are no longer recommended.

  • Do not cut or cauterise the snake bite or attempt to suck out the poison.
  • Do not apply a tourniquet or restrictive bandage.
  • Do not wash venom off the skin-it can help experts to identify the snake.
Pressure immobilisation treatment - Pressure immobilisation helps to slow down the absorption of venom into the bloodstream. It is useful in the treatment of snake bite and most other bites and stings except poisoning by red­back spider and some venomous fish, including stonefish.
  1. As soon as possible apply a broad roller bandage around the bitten area: crepe is ideal, but you can improvise with pantyhose or any strips of cloth. Bandage over clothing unless it is thick or stiff, in which case you should cut the seams so that it can be pushed out of the way.
  2. Then apply a second bandage, working upwards from the toes or fingers to the elbow or knee.
  3. Immobilise a leg with a splint. A splint and sling can be used to immobilise,and support an arm.

First aid treatment

  1. Lay the casualty down comfortably. Do not elevate a bitten limb.
  2. Apply pressure immobilisalion for limb bites.
  3. If the person becomes unconscious, place in the lateral position, check the airway, breathing and pulse and begin expired air resuscitation (EAR) or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if necessary.
  4. Seek emergency medical aid immediately.

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