Toddler taken to hospital after Boreen Pt snake bite
A LITTLE boy taken to hospital on Thursday evening after a suspected snake bite was in a stable condition.
Queensland Ambulance Service said today the toddler was taken by ambulance to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital after sustaining a suspected snake bite to his leg at a private residence at Boreen Point just before 6pm on Sunday.
Health authorities have warned residents to watch out for snakes after 16 patients with bites presented to emergency departments in October.
Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service emergency consultant Dr Barrie Field said people needed to be aware they shared an environment with “potentially dangerous snakes”.
“As the temperatures rise so do snake sightings,” he said. “Many species, including some venomous ones, can be found in residential areas, including in people’s houses, in supermarket car parks and on public beaches and sand dunes.
“There is also an increase in sightings, and in bites, during school and public holiday periods and during the peak periods of visitor numbers to the Sunshine Coast.”
SCHHS recorded about 125 snake bite related presentations so far this year, compared to 90 for the same time last year.
There were 16 presentations for snake bites in October this year, compared to three in September.
Dr Field said while most snake bites do not result in the victim becoming unwell, all bites should be taken seriously.
“Snake bite should always be considered if a child collapses while outside, or soon after being outside,” he said.
WHAT TO DO WHEN BITTEN BY A SNAKE
■ Ensure that the snake has left the immediate area and is no longer a risk.
■ Check that a collapsed patient is conscious, breathing and has a pulse.
■ Call triple-0 for an ambulance for transport to the Emergency Department of the nearest hospital.
■ Apply a pressure bandage as soon as possible: apply this over the bite site and then cover the entire limb. The bandage should be as tight as you would apply to a sprained ankle, which means it should be firm, but not uncomfortable.
■ Immobilise the limb using a splint: any rigid object may be used as a splint, e.g. a piece of wood or tree branch or a rolled up newspaper
■ Keep the patient still and encourage them to remain calm. Do not allow them to walk.
■ Only non-alcoholic liquids should be given to the patient. Do not give an unwell victim food.
Dr Field warned residents never to use a tourniquet as snake bite first aid.
“Never use a tourniquet, never cut the bite wound or apply an electric current and never attempt to suck venom from the wound,’’ he said. “None of these actions will help the victim and all can cause further harm.
“Also, do not wash the bite site as if there is venom on the skin, a swab of the site can be useful in helping to identify the likely snake species and guide doctors about which antivenom is required if the victim becomes unwell and needs antivenom.’’