- Prevention and Treatment of Bites and Stings.  Mosquito bites, tick bites, snake bites, bee stings, spider bites, fly bites, scorpion stings, jellyfish and stingray stings.

Snake Bite
Treatment and Prevention


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Click to buy the Extractor Pump Kit.

Of the 10,000 - 20,000 snake bites reported in the USA each year, less than ten are fatal. However, many more cause disfigurement or nerve or tissue damage. Quick use of the Sawyer Extractor Pump to remove the venom can have significant benefits.

 Those most at risk from snake bites include children and adults under 120 lbs. Alcohol use is involved in more than 50% of snake bites in the USA. Also, people with tattoos are more likely to get bitten though the correlation between tattoos and alcohol use has not been fully researched in snake bite occurrence. It appears, however, that the most likely candidate for a snake bite is the tattooed drunk who is staggering around in the wild outdoors. If you're looking for a Snake Bite treatment, the Extractor Pump Kit is it! You can find more information on the Extractor here.

 The USA has four major kinds of poisonous snakes - Coral Snakes and three Pit Vipers: Rattlesnakes, Water Moccasins (Cottonmouths), and Copperheads. Snakes use Offensive Poisons to disable or kill a potential meal, or intruder.

Know which snakes are dangerous. Look for a triangular head (rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths) or red bands touching yellow to whitish bands (coral snakes).

 The rattlesnake is a Pit Viper  The name Pit Viper is derived from a small pit between the nostril and the eye on each side of the head. The bite of the Pit Viper is a lightning-like strike, usually on the legs or hands, as the snake injects venom from two fangs in the forward portion of its upper jaw. These fangs leave two distinctive puncture wounds at the point of entry. Bites from Pit Vipers are serious. If bitten, the symptoms you feel will vary greatly, depending on your size, amount of venom injected, the amount you're able to remove with the Extractor™ Pump, the speed of absorption, and the location of the bite. Usually, the bite of a Pit Viper will cause severe pain and rapid swelling and discoloration of the skin at the bite area. Other conditions that may develop include general body weakness, rapid pulse, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, dimness of vision, shock, and even death.

Identify Coral Snakes by their coloring -- red bands touching yellow or whitish bands.

Coral snakes inject venom by chewing on the victim. They often allow you to handle them for long periods of time before biting. Because they are colorful, children often catch and play with these snakes. Be sure your child can differentiate Coral Snakes from harmless colorful snakes.

 Click to buy the Extractor Pump Kit.  SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IF BITTEN BY A POISONOUS SNAKE. The Sawyer Extractor Pump is the only First Aid method proven scientifically to remove significant quantities of venom from snake bites. If used immediately after being bitten, the Extractor Pump can remove up to 90% of the injected venom.

Snake Bite Do's

  • Remove yourself or victim from risk of a second bite.
  • Use the Sawyer Extractor Pump immediately. You can leave the pump on for up to four hours. The first few minutes are the most important for venom removal.
  • Calm the patient. Virtually all snakebites are successfully treated in the US.
  • Keep the extremity at heart level or lower. In most cases severe complications DO NOT occur until several hours post-bite. If the victim must be transported or walked out, make wise use of those first few hours.
  • Seek medical help. Children and adults under 120 lbs. are particularly at risk, as is anyone who has received multiple bites or a full load of venom.
  • Limit liquid intake because the body pumps fluids to the bite site, increasing painful swelling. Avoid alcohol, which increases metabolism and impairs judgment.
  • Remember that most bites, even from poisonous snakes, are not fatal. Panic can increase the danger to the victim by inducing rapid heartbeat.

Snake Bite Don'ts

  • Don't excite the victim or even allow the victim to walk if it can be avoided. Doing so will increase blood circulation, speeding the spread of the venom beyond the area of the bite.
  • Don't use the small rubber suction cups found in some first aid kits because they are too weak to remove any significant amount of venom.
  • Don't cut an "X" or suck out venom with the mouth. This is ineffective and increases trauma in the area of the wound.
  • Don't apply a tourniquet, constricting band, or "Australian Wrap," unless you are well-trained in its use.
  • Don't risk a second bite by chasing or trying to capture the snake. The antivenin for pit viper bites is the same for all species so identification is rarely necessary. Emergency room personnel will know from the type of bite (punctured versus chewed tissue) whether the attacker was a pit viper or coral snake.
  • We do not recommend the use of cold compresses unless being administered by a physician or other trained in proper application, due to the risk of frostbite or tissue damage from misapplication or over-application.