Snakes and scorpions ripe with toxin pose danger

Magen David Adom teams have repeatedly been called to give first aid to victims of snakes and scorpions attacking humans in tall grass.

June 4, 2013 18:57
1 minute read.

viper, snake, cobra_311. (photo credit: Kaplan Medical Center)

Beware of the bites and stings of snakes and scorpions whose poison is overflowing after their long winter slumber, Magen David Adom said on Tuesday. In the last few weeks, MDA teams have repeatedly been called to give first aid to victims of these reptiles, attacked in tall grass, crevices or when rocks are moved.

The most recent case was a 16-year-old girl from a settlement in Samaria who was bitten by a snake on Saturday night.

After initial treatment, she was taken to Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikva and hospitalized in serious condition.

The Eretz Yisrael viper is found all over the country, while other poisonous species are usually confined to the Negev. When they awake from their winter hibernation, they are very hungry and have produced large amounts of poison, the better to kill their victims.

MDA urges that people wear high-topped shoes and long pants when they enter areas with tall grasses and rocks. In gardens, such areas should be cleaned, with unnecessary objects removed so snakes and scorpions do not hide near them.

When camping, shake out clothing, shoes, sleeping bags and tents to remove any dangerous creatures. In the event of a bite, calm the victim and lay him on the ground so he can be motionless in order to slow the spread of the toxin.

Call MDA on 101 immediately.

Never suck the toxin from the wound and do not cut the skin to remove it. Do not use a tourniquet or cool the area; this can cause more damage.

Do not give the victim alcohol.

Take a photo of the snake and its skin pattern, so it will be easier for the hospital staffers to identify it and determine if it is poisonous.

Do not try to catch it.

There are 21 varieties of dangerous scorpions in the country, MDA said. The riskiest are the yellow ones and the black ones with large tails.

The toxin works directly on the human neurological system.

The victim of a scorpion bite quickly develops sharp pain, swelling, redness, a quick pulse, seating and vomiting.

Keep the victim as quiet as possible and do not let him move.

Call MDA and do what the duty officer advises until the ambulance arrives.

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