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Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Suspected snake bite: 11 year old transferred to Queensland Children’s Hospital

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An 11 year old girl was stabilised by a medical team at Lismore Base Hospital last night following a suspected snake bite.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was then called in to transport her to the Queensland Children’s Hospital as her condition worsened and she was in need of specialist care.

‘The youngsters condition is believed to be critical,’ said a salesperson for the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter service.

Treating snakebites

The current technique is of pressure and immobilisation. The object of pressure and immobilisation is to contain venom within a bitten limb and prevent it from moving through the lymphatic system to the vital organs. The pressure prevents lymphatic drainage, and immobilisation prevents the pumping action of the skeletal muscles.

Co-Director of emergency medicine at Lismore Base Hospital, Lindsay Murray, says all hospitals within the Northern Rivers carry snake anti-venom.

Mr Murray says that in the event of definite, or even suspected snakebite, people should: keep calm and limit all unnecessary movement, particularly of the bitten limb; wrap the entire limb with a firm bandage at the pressure used for a sprained ankle.

Start wrapping at the toes or fingers and continue all the way up to armpit or groin. Clothing can be left in place; immobilise the bitten limb with a splint or sling; and arrange urgent transport to the nearest hospital, by ambulance if necessary.

In an emergency call triple zero (000).

‘Once at hospital, a patient with a suspected snake bite will undergo a series of evaluations and tests to determine whether they have been envenomed,’ he said.

‘Patients will often be transferred by ambulance to a larger hospital to complete investigations and treatment. Anti-venom is only administered if envenomation is confirmed,  without confirmed laboratory results in very extreme circumstances.


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5 COMMENTS

  1. terribly bad luck. yes i sincerely hope she fully recovers

    interesting to read – start bandage wrapping at lower extremities lime fingers or toes and work upwards.
    i thought we were supposed to bandage above the bite presumably to reduce flow to main parts of the body.

    • Margrette unfortunately that would create a tourniquet affect which is not advised, but as the article explains, always from the outer extremity of the limb all the way up and if you don’t happen to have a pressure bandage handy , tear up someone’s clothing and use it.
      Quick tip: take off any rings on your fingers, they will swell if you been tagged.

  2. A handy hint & possible lifesaver is to place a snakebite kit in your power box, house and shed. Snake bite treatment dictates it`s best to immobilize the victim. As most snake bites occur outside the home it makes it easier to locate the meds Also include info on Hospital, nearest Doctor , Next of kin & paryer book if needed ….etc ,

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