First-aid for snake-bite: efficacy of a constrictive bandage with limb immobilization in the management of human envenomation.

A herpetologist was bitten on the thumb by a common brown snake (Pseudonaja textilis). A constrictive bandage to impede lymphatic and capillary flow was applied, and the upper limb was immobilized. Two hours after the bite, there were no signs of symptoms of envenomation and venom (to a sensitivity of 0.5 ng/mL) was undetectable in serum and urine. Within five minutes of removal of the constrictive bandage, significant signs of envenomation developed, and serum and urine levels of venom rose significantly. The patient received two ampoules of brown-snake antivenom, and had recovered within six hours. No anaphylaxis of other allergic phenomena occurred, despite the fact that three other doses of antivenom had been administered in the preceding 36 months for prior elapid envenomation. By means of an experimental whole-mouse technique, and an enzyme-linked immunospecific assay (ELISA) system, the snake involved was shown to deliver 4.91 mg of venom in an average bite. A constrictive bandage properly applied to impede lymphatic and capillary flow, together with limb immobilization, is effective in the field management of human elapid envenomation.
AuthorsJ Pearn, J Morrison, N Charles, V Muir
JournalThe Medical journal of Australia (Med J Aust) Vol. 2 Issue 6 Pg. 293-5 (Sep 19 1981) ISSN: 0025-729X [Print] AUSTRALIA
PMID7300763 (Publication Type: Case Reports, Comparative Study, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
Chemical References
  • Antivenins
  • Animals
  • Antivenins (therapeutic use)
  • Bandages
  • Constriction
  • Female
  • First Aid
  • Humans
  • Immobilization
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Snake Bites (therapy)
  • Thumb
  • Time Factors

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