Snakebite in the tarheel state. Guidelines for first aid, stabilization, and evacuation.
Snakebite is relatively common in North Carolina. The Copperhead is the most common offender, though we have representatives of all three genera of the Pit Viper family in addition to the Coral Snake. Pit Vipers are identified by the characteristic triangular head, elliptical eyes, well-developed fangs, and with the Rattlesnakes, a tail rattle. The Coral Snake is identified by its characteristic color pattern with red bands adjacent to yellow bands. Treatment is initiated by the safe identification of the snake, taking care to avoid a second bite. A lymphatic constriction band is applied above the bite and an Extractor, if available, is applied within three minutes. The extremity is splinted and the victim evacuated to the nearest trauma center as soon as possible.
Moorman, CT; Moorman, LS; Goldner, RD
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