The Taipan is a highly venomous snake, which can be found in the Northern and Eastern regions of Australia. The snake is isolated to this particular region of the globe, but has migrated to as far as New Guinea. The inland Taipan is known to be the most venomous snake in the world, whereby one bite can have enough venom to kill a million mice. Urgent first aid treatment is often required, which guards against the deadly consequences of a bite.
It is essential for humans to avoid all contact with the snake, due to its highly toxic venom. There is a real risk of death when bitten, which is greatly multiplied if there is not sufficient access to professional medical treatment. The Taipian itself is an extremely shy snake, which will avoid any contact with humans. However they will bite if backed into a corner, or when they consider themselves under threat. The Taipan is extremely efficient at administering venom through its bites, which makes it one of the deadliest inland predators on the planet.
The first port of call when bitten is to dial the emergency services (if possible). No one should be fooled into thinking that they can control a bite of this nature, and only professional treatment is proven to save lives. Immobilization will prove the key at this point and will help control the flow of venom. It is widely known that many snake charmers will chop their fingers off when bitten, which rules out the risk of the venom travelling up the arm, and into the blood stream. This is not recommended for the average bite victim, and instead you should always just try to lie completely flat on the ground.
Whilst waiting for the emergency services it is possible to further reduce the flow of venom by applying the pressure immobilization bandage technique. The aim of this bandage technique is to compress the affected area and its surrounds, which can help reduce the flow of venom towards the heart. A broad fold bandage should be secured below the bite site, and should then be tightly wrapped around the leg / arm; at all points except the finger tips and toes. Further bandages should then be used to secure a splint in place, which should ensure that the casualty doesn't move the affected area.
The most effective way of treating a Taipan bite is through the successful administration of anti-venom. The above pressure immobilization techniques are hugely effective, but cannot completely guard against the venom entering the blood supply. The most significant amount of deaths from the bites occurred prior to the discovery of a successful anti venom. The anti-venom is the only known way of reversing respiratory, muscle and renal dysfunction. Parts of Australia are vastly uninhabited, and the help of the emergency services could in some cases be days away. It is therefore essential that any expeditions / tours of known Taipian territories are accompanied by a plentiful supply of anti-venom.
Bill Casserley is a dedicated first aid instructor, who regularly volunteers at sporting events. Did you know the skills that were outlined in the article? If not then visit the emergency first aid at work course learning zone @ http://www.train-aid.co.uk for free tips.
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