Bites from rattlesnakes are considered to be a medical emergency. Venomous snakes include rattlesnakes. If you are bitten by one, it can be dangerous for you, but it only occasionally results in death. The bite, on the other hand, has the potential to cause serious medical complications or even death if it is not treated.
The venom from the majority of rattlesnake bites will cause tissue damage and will have an effect on your circulatory system. This will occur when the venom destroys skin tissues and blood cells, as well as when it causes internal bleeding. The majority of rattlesnake venom is made up primarily of components that are hemotoxic.
There are approximately 30 different species of rattlesnakes that can be found across the globe. In most cases, you’ll have no trouble recognizing them thanks to the distinctive buzzing or rattling sound that gives them their name. They use this rattle as a warning to other animals to keep their distance from them.
Symptoms of rattlesnake bite
In the event that you are bitten by a rattlesnake, you may find that their large fangs have left one or two puncture marks on your skin.
In most cases, the location of the bite will cause you to feel some discomfort, such as pain, tingling, or a burning sensation. There is a possibility that the affected area will show signs of swelling, bruising, or discoloration. Additional common symptoms may include the following:
- tingling or numbness in the hands and feet
- sickness and/or throwing up
- sweating, drooling, and having trouble seeing clearly
- a struggle to take a breath
What to do when bitten by a rattlesnake?
Get as far away from the snake as possible, as they are likely to strike again if they feel threatened. This is the first and most important step to take.
It is a waste of time to try to catch the snake, but you should make an effort to remember its size and color. It is possible that this will assist your medical team in identifying the species of the insect that bit you and in locating the appropriate antivenin.
Immediately seek out the assistance of a medical professional. If you are able to do so, please call for an ambulance.
There are a number of myths surrounding the treatment of bites from rattlesnakes that are widely believed. While you wait for the ambulance, here are some things you can do to lower your risk.
- It is important to keep the area at the same level as the heart. If you do this, the venom from the rattlesnake will travel through your bloodstream to your heart much more quickly.
- Maintain as much stillness as you possibly can, as any movement will cause an increase in blood flow, which in turn will cause the venom to circulate more quickly.
- Before you start to swell, remove any jewelry or clothing that is too tight for you.
- Allow the wound to bleed because this will hopefully cause some of the venom to be expelled.
- Don’t bother washing the wound because your medical staff might be able to extract some of the venom from your skin and use it to more accurately determine which antivenin to give you.
- Apply a sterile bandage to the cut or wound.
- Make an effort to maintain your composure, as feelings of anxiety and panic can cause your heart rate to increase, which in turn will cause the venom to spread.
- If you begin to experience symptoms of shock, you should try to lie down on your back, slightly elevate your feet, and make sure you are warm.
- Do not attempt to treat the wound by cutting it, as this will not help and it could lead to an infection.
- Do not make the mistake of trying to suction the venom out of the wound because doing so will not only bring the venom into your mouth but will also bring the bacteria from your mouth into the wound.
- Do not apply a tourniquet, and neither ice nor water should be applied.
It is of the utmost importance that you get to the hospital as quickly as you can. Do not squander your time on processes that previous research has demonstrated to be ineffective.
Timeline of the bite
When you are bitten by a rattlesnake, it only takes a few seconds for the venom to travel from the fangs that retract into the rattlesnake’s mouth, through your skin, and into your bloodstream. You will start to notice symptoms right away, but those symptoms will become increasingly severe over time.
After being bitten, the best case scenario is that you will get medical assistance within the first half an hour. If the bite is not treated, your body’s functions will begin to break down over the course of the next two or three days, and the bite could potentially result in severe organ damage or death.
Are there long-term side effects when bitten?
The majority of patients who are treated for rattlesnake bites make a full recovery.
In recent years, it appears that the long-term side effects of rattlesnake bites have become more severe; however, there has been very little research conducted to investigate the reasons why this may be the case.
After being bitten by a rattlesnake, some people have experienced life-threatening illnesses from which they have required weeks or even months to recover. It is possible to experience severe shock, which can put a person at risk for having a stroke.
Because of the reduction in blood flow, some people have experienced the loss of a portion of their intestines, and others have developed kidney failure as a result. These are side effects that were extremely uncommon in the years prior to this one.
How to avoid being bitten?
Watching where you put your feet is the most effective way to avoid getting bitten by an animal. People get bitten when they put their hands or feet in an area without first looking to see if there are any dangers there.
In the event that you do get bitten, keep in mind that you have a lot of time and that bites very rarely result in fatalities. It is a serious matter, and you will need to seek immediate medical attention; however, you should not run because you do not want to get your heart rate up in this emergency situation. Get yourself to a place where you can be monitored and given the appropriate treatment as soon as possible by driving yourself to the hospital or calling 911. Just get there as quickly as you can while maintaining your composure.
Prognosis of rattlesnake bite
If you seek medical attention as soon as possible after being bitten by a rattlesnake, there is a good chance that you will make a full recovery from the bite.
The prognosis is better for shallow bites than it is for deeper ones, and healthy adults will recover from their injuries more quickly than children or people with compromised immune systems.