ADVICE: Director of Mount Isa Emergency Department Dr Ulrich Orda says residents should learn how to treat snake bites. Picture: Supplied Mount Isa Queensland Health professionals are urgingNorth West residents to learnhow to treat snake bites.
Last week a four-year-old girl was airlifted to the Mount Isa Hospital and a man near Townsville died as a result of a snake bite.
Mount Isa Hospital Director of Emergency Dr Ulrich Orda said snakes weremore commonin the summer months in Queensland.
“The current drought conditions in much of Queensland also are affecting snake movementsand forcing them closer to human areas in the search for moisture and because their naturalprey gravitates to where the water is,’’ he said.
“So everyone needs to be aware we share the environment with a number of potentiallydangerous snakes and should know what to do if bitten.’’
Queensland is home to about 120 species of snakes, with about 65 per cent of those beingvenomous.
Dr Ordasaid Mount Isa Hospital’s emergency department had recorded 17 snake bite-relatedpresentations so far this year compared to 19 in 2014 and 14 in 2013.
If a snake bite or suspected snake bite occurs, health professionals urge the community to call 000 and apply pressure to the area.
Dr Odra said when bitten you shouldapply a firm bandageover the bite site, and then cover the entire limb using the same amount of pressure as a sprained ankle.
“Immobilise the limb using a splint. Any rigid object may be used as a splint,” he said.
“Keep the patient absolutely still and encourage them to remain calm.
“Also don’t wash residual venom off as it can be used as a sample to identify the snakeinvolved.’’
Queensland Ambulance Service acting clinical support officerMichael Porteradvised residents todownload the Emergency Plus App, which displays accurate coordinates to assist emergency services.
“If there is only one bandage available start bandaging where the bite mark is,” he said.“If there is more than oneavailable, start at the site (of the bite) and then start from the fingers or toes upwards.”
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