There are few things that scare people as much as the thought of being bitten by a snake. Roughly 46,000 people die of snakebites in India every year. But what’s really sad is the fact that most of these deaths are entirely avoidable. A snake bite is not as big a problem as the lack of awareness about how to treat it. The depiction of snakes in popular movies as well as mythology makes matters worse.

Immesnakediate medical attention is crucial, but here are a few handy tips on the first level of care that needs to be administered when someone is bitten by a snake.

1) Move the person beyond striking distance of the snake.
2) Keep the person calm and at rest, reassure him/her – Being bitten by a snake can be extremely terrifying, so it’s important to calm the victim down and reassure them
3) Wash the bitten area with soap and water to remove any venom on the skin.
4) The wound must be below the heart so that flow of blood from the area is reduced.
5) Remove any jewellery from the area that was bitten. Similarly, remove shoes if the leg or foot was bitten.
6) Immobilize the affected area by a splint.
7) Cover the wound with loose, sterile bandage
8) Manage for shock
9) Ensure an ambulance has been called. Transfer to hospital is absolutely essential

DO NOT
1. Try to catch the snake
2. Cut a bite wound
3. Attempt to suck out venom
4. Apply tourniquet, ice, or water
5. Give the person alcohol or caffeinated drinks or any other medications

Building awareness is key when it comes to mitigating the effects of snake bite to prevent death. Dedicated training programs to handle emergencies such as snake bites should be undertaken by corporates, residential societies, rural panchayats to help prevent avoidable deaths.

We, at Doorstep Health Services, have undertaken several training camps to help raise awareness on emergency care. Write to us at care@doorstephealth.in to know more.

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The response to this question depends, of course, on the situation and location for which the kit is being designed. For instance, the first aid kit designed for a factory/manufacturing unit will look very different from the one that required in an IT or retail environment.

Factors to consider

There is no ‘ideal’ first aid kit. First aid kits should be designed keeping in mind the likely risks that it needs to address; specific to the processes and occupational risks. It should also be equipped for disaster mitigation and for all human emergencies.

first-aid

Contents of the first aid kit

Ideally, there should be two levels of kits – one for the public and a more elaborate one for health care personnel. Of course, it must contain items for minor ailments such as cuts, fever etc., But most importantly, it MUST have simple life saving equipment such as a pressure dressing, a cervical collar, splints, blankets and such; depending on the hazards present in that location.

Training and accessibility

Just having the kits is not enough. It is equally important that the location of the kit must be very visible and accessible.

The first aid kit must NOT be under lock and key.

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Secondly, personnel should be trained in using the first aid kit. The India Factory Act, originally articulated in 1948 and later amended in the year 1987, states that extensive awareness needs to be created on how to use the contents of a kit amongst at least 10 percent of the employee base. Although, at Doorstep Health, our recommendation is at everyone should be trained on using the first aid kit. Why stop at ten percent?

Unfortunately, emergencies cannot be predicted; so being well-equipped to handle them can help contain the damage.

Write in to us at care@doorstephealth.in for a free list of basic first aid kit contents that every organisation must have. Doorstep Health Services also helps design customised first aid kits to meet the requirements of your organisation.

 

 

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