Summer is the time for everyone to spend more time outdoors enjoying the sunshine. It is a time of picnics and community enjoyments. It is the time for adventures. Summer is a fascinating season not only for human beings but also for every creature that enjoys the warm weather. Reptiles and insects move about everywhere causing health hazards. Snakes, scorpions and even some kinds of lizards that are poisonous can be seen moving. Their numbers and movements peak during warm weather and it may not be easy to find or capture them. Hence it is safer to have some remedies at hand to manage the situation.
How to treat snake bites?
1) There are specific antivenin serums available for various species of snakes. One has to learn to identify the various snakes in the locality. More venomous snakes such as cobra are found in the southern states than the north.
2) Massive doses of vitamin C, starting with the first dose of 4,000 mg and followed by 1,000 to 2,000 mg each hour, can be administered as an immediate remedy. The dosage should be reduced if diarrhea develops. Calcium gluconate, given every 6 hours relieves pain and abdominal cramping from the venom. It can also prevent stomach upset from massive amounts of vitamin C.
3) Most important thing is the person bitten should keep calm and work carefully because excitement will speed up the blood flow to the heart. It is better to make him lie down calmly.
4) Charcoal clears the poison inside the body. Mix charcoal with some water and drink it. Drinking half glassful of water mixed with 1 teaspoon of charcoal, drunk every 15 minutes until the danger is past, gives a great relief. Charcoal tablets also can be chewed and saliva can be swallowed. Charcoal can be powdered and applied on the affected part as a paste.
5) Be careful not to apply ice or a cold pack to the bitten area since this will drive the poison toward the heart. Drinking alcoholic liquor is dangerous to the affected person.
6) In some cases there may be swelling in the bitten area after a few hours and increase in pain. In that case, pour a little kerosene on a piece of cloth and apply it, keeping it wet for several hours. This can neutralize the effect of poison.
7) Another alternative home remedy followed in India is to grind up raw onions and apply to the bitten or stung area. Let the paste remain on the affected area until a different odor, other than onion, is noticed. When the pain is reduced it can be washed and some more fresh paste can be applied. Onion has the power to draw out poison.
8) Follow tourniquet method if medical help is delayed
If the bite is on an arm or leg and there is no hope of reaching a doctor or clinic immediately, it is advised to apply a tourniquet between the wound and the heart during the first 5 minutes after the bite. The patient should be lying down and should be kept warm. The bandage should be two or three inches above the bite and should be tight enough to cut off the venous blood reaching heart. But do not obstruct the arterial circulation. The bandage should be loosened for 15 seconds every 10 minutes. This method is only to block poison reaching the heart through blood.