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.
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.