Snake Bites

Sources: Papers On Health

A snake bite is only one of a large class of injuries

which may be considered under one title. From an insect sting upwards

to the most fatal snake bite, we need to note, first, the blow or

shock of the bite, and then the fever symptoms which show poison

spreading in the system. The blow or shock paralyses or kills a larger

or smaller part of the nervous system. The nerve of the heart may be

almost instantly so paralysed, with fatal effect. The snake poison

especially affects the organic nervous system, and thus attacks the

very source of vitality. In smaller stings, rubbing vinegar or weak

ACETIC ACID (see) into the wound is sufficient almost instantly to

cure. The same substance will cure greater evils. In the case of snake

bite, first suck the wound thoroughly, watching that the lips and gums

of the person who sucks are free from wound or scratch, or use what is

called "dry cupping." Much may be done thus in a few seconds. But it

must not be continued longer, and hinder the next step. This is to

inject weak acetic acid into the bite. Where snakes are abundant, a

small syringe, such as is used to inject morphia, with a rather blunt

point, should be always carried, and acetic acid of the right strength.

The injection must be thorough, and of course pain must be borne to

avoid greater evil. Foment cautiously but persistently over the stomach

and along the spine. Pay special attention to the lower back if bitten

in the foot or leg, and to the upper part if in the hand or arm. During

recovery, give careful diet, and rest. Of course this treatment will

fail in some cases, as any treatment may. But if immediately applied,

it will save a very large number of lives.