Snake venom poisoning is considered not so rare. Quite often, snake bites happen in nature – for example, on a hike or in field work, so the basics of clinical toxicology, the rules of behavior for snake bites and symptoms should know absolutely everything. There are quite a lot of species of snakes on earth, but a person most often suffers from the bites of reptiles of only three species – vipers, already similar and aspid.

Symptoms of bites of poisonous snakes
It may happen that a person does not notice a snakebite, so you need to know the main symptoms of snake venom poisoning in order to be able to provide medical care.

Symptoms of a bite of an ordinary viper:

  • at the bite site, 1 or 2 punctures of the skin cover will be clearly visible;
  • wounds at the site of the bite burn, slightly sore;
  • after 10-30 minutes the bite site swells and turns red;
  • the skin becomes bluish-purple;
  • nausea, dizziness, drowsiness begin, a decrease in body temperature is noted.

If severe intoxication develops, then the above symptoms will be accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • severe weakness;
  • clearly defined pallor of the skin; limbs become cold;
  • confusion of consciousness is noted;
  • fever and shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, and kidney failure may develop.

Symptoms of a Central Asian cobra bite:

  • there is a sharp, burning pain at the site of the bite, which subsides after only a few hours;
  • the color of the skin at the site of the bite remains virtually unchanged;
  • there is swelling in the area of ​​the wounds, but not as pronounced as with a bite of an ordinary viper;
  • a clear, bloody, fluid may ooze from the wound; the functions of the affected limb are violated, paralysis develops in an upward direction;
  • facial muscles suffer – the eyelids and lower jaw drop involuntarily, the movement of the eyeballs is disturbed.

With a bite of a Central Asian cobra, symptoms of general intoxication also quickly develop:

  • general weakness;
  • anxiety of unknown etiology;
  • difficulty breathing
  • violation of swallowing;
  • increased salivation;
  • nausea and vomiting, hiccups;
  • speech becomes silent and slurred;
  • involuntary urination and bowel movements.

Please note: if a person does not receive medical assistance after a bite of a Central Asian cobra, then his death occurs within 2-7 hours from respiratory arrest.

What determines the severity of symptoms after a bite of a poisonous snake:

  1. The age of a bitten person. The most intense symptoms of snake venom poisoning appear in children and the elderly. The presence of internal diseases, the level of immunity and general health also play a role.
  2. Type of snake, its size and age. The common viper is believed to be less dangerous than the Central Asian cobra, although in any case, the bite of these reptiles causes serious health problems. Less dangerous are the bites of young snakes, small in size.
  3. The condition of the teeth of the snake. If they are infected, then the penetration of pathogenic microorganisms into the wound will be a must – this exacerbates the development of symptoms.
  4. Place of bite. Most often, the lower limbs are affected, and then the symptoms will develop slowly. But there are bites of snakes in the neck, and in the face, and at the location of large blood vessels – the symptoms will develop rapidly.
  5. Human behavior after a bite. If the bite will actively move and run, then the spread of snake venom throughout the body will be faster – the intensity of the symptoms will be powerful.


So, everything has already happened – the man was bitten by a poisonous snake.
What then should be done, how to help the victim and prevent the development of serious complications? Firstly, you need to put the bitten in a horizontal position and try to calm – anxiety, tantrums and panic will not help. If the snake is fixed on the skin at the site of the bite (this, by the way, happens often), it needs to be removed and destroyed, but not thrown away – a reptile may be needed for examination by a specialist.

Secondly, if possible, immediately call an ambulance, contact rescuers or a recreation center, a hotel. While doing all these actions, carefully monitor the victim – the absence of burning, swelling and pain at the site of the bite, most likely, indicates the non-toxicity of the snake.
Thirdly, the affected part should be freed from clothing and jewelry – they can put pressure on the bite and provoke increased swelling.
Please note: if the symptoms indicate that the person was bitten by a poisonous snake, then medical care should be provided immediately, without waiting for help to arrive!

Urgent Care:

  • If a poisonous snake has bitten for a limb, then it needs to be immobilized – you can put a bandage or a longuet from improvised materials (a board, a branch) on your leg or arm.
  • It is advisable to aspirate the poison from the wound for a maximum of 10 minutes after the incident. If you have a rubber bulb with you, then work with it, if not, use your mouth. First you need to squeeze the wounds from the bite between the fingers and slightly knead them – this will help to “open” them, then grab the bite with your teeth and begin to actively suck out the poison, helping with your fingers (as if “squeezing”). We immediately spit out the poison with saliva, the duration of this procedure should not exceed 20 minutes – during this time 50% of the total amount of poison that has been taken can be removed from the body.
  • We process the place of the bite with a disinfectant – hydrogen peroxide, chlorhexidine, Zelenka will do. Do not treat the wound with alcohol.
  • A bandage from a bandage or any piece of clean tissue is applied to the wound. In no case should it be tight – this fact is checked by slipping a finger under the blindfold (it should pass freely).
  • Cold is applied to the bite site – ice is the best option. If this type of cooling is used, then every 5-7 minutes you need to take a break in the procedure for 5 minutes – this will prevent frostbite on the tissues.
  • The victim is given antihistamines – Tavegil, Diphenhydramine, Loratadin. If possible, then such funds are administered intramuscularly.
  • The bite should consume a lot of fluids – up to 5 liters of water per day. This will help reduce the manifestations of intoxication. It is necessary to give the patient vitamins K and C, and if possible – put a dropper with glucose (5% solution in an amount of 400 ml).
  • The victim is given glucocorticosteroid drugs (prednisone or dexamethasone), they can be administered intramuscularly.
  • If a person was bitten by a Central Asian cobra, then his breathing may be disturbed. To alleviate its condition, you need to periodically apply a cotton swab moistened with ammonia to the nose.
  • If respiratory and heart failure is rapidly developing, then the bitten is administered Caffeine, Ephedrine or Cordiamine.
  • In the case of complete respiratory arrest and heartbeat, the patient undergoes artificial respiration and indirect heart massage.


The problem is that people with the bite of a poisonous snake begin to perform actions that can lead to the development of serious complications. It must be clearly remembered that in no case should be done under the condition in question:

  • cauterize a bite site;
  • apply heat to the lesion;
  • apply a tourniquet to the affected limb – this leads to the rapid and deep spread of poison in the tissue; cut the bite site for the outflow of poison;
  • take any alcoholic beverages;
  • overlay a limb for a long time; subject the patient to physical exertion.

Snake venom poisoning involves the introduction of specific sera (antidotes) – this is advisable to do on the first day after a bite. In the future, if necessary, it will be possible to introduce another dose of serum.


There are no specific preventive measures to prevent the bites of poisonous snakes. But there is a list of rules of conduct when meeting with such reptiles:

  • You can not scream, move sharply and wave a stick at the snake – such actions provoke an attack by the snake.
  • When passing areas with tall grass, you need to use a stick – it spreads the grass in front of you and determines the presence / absence of snakes.
  • When passing through potentially hazardous areas, you need to provide yourself with tight, closed clothing and high boots / boots.
  • For an overnight trip, camping and camping, you need to choose a place with low vegetation, on a hill, away from mountains and rocks.
  • If you have to visit places remote from civilization, you need to have antidotes with you and the necessary set of first-aid kit.
  • Before each use of the tent and sleeping bag, be sure to check them for the absence of snakes.

The bite of a poisonous snake is unpleasant and even dangerous. But if you take measures to prevent the spread of poison in the body, correctly conduct first aid, then the consequences will not be terrible for human health and life.