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Source: 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.
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