Bites & Stings

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Bites & Stings

I. Animal bites

Animal bites may result in puncture wounds or tearing of the flesh / skin. There is a high risk of infection, if the wound is not treated properly. Serious wounds may require medical attention.

  • Superficial bites
    • If any foreign particle / body is sticking to the skin, remove it by rinsing the area with clean water for a few minutes.
    • Clean the affected area with warm water and soap.
    • Dry the area properly and cover with an adhesive or sterile dressing.
    • Advise the victim to consult his / her doctor.
  • Serious wounds
    • Try to control bleeding by raising the affected area or by applying direct pressure with a clean cloth.
    • Cover the wound with a clean cloth or a sterile dressing.
    • Call for medical help.
  • Insect stings
    • If the sting is present on the skin, remove it with the help of tweezers.
    • Clean the affected area with warm water and soap.
    • Remove any jewelry or other items as the affected area may swell.
    • Cover the area with a moist dressing or apply cold compress to reduce the swelling.
    • Arrange for medical help.
  • Marine animal bites or stings : Many marine creatures can cause injury through bites or stings. These may include jellyfish, scorpion fish, sea urchins, sea anemone, sharks, eel, Portuguese man – of – war etc.


First Aid

  • Remove any adhering stings or tentacles.
  • Clean the affected area with water.
  • Pour alcohol or vinegar over the affected area to neutralize the venom.
  • If there is severe injury or the victim suffers from shock, arrange for medical help immediately.
  • If the injury is serious, take the victim to a doctor.


II. Snake bites

Poisonous snake bites may include : cobra, rattlesnake, coral snake, copperhead etc.

Symptoms include :

  • Paired puncture marks.
  • Severe pain.
  • Redness in the affected area.
  • Swelling.
  • Numbness and tingling sensation.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Weakness.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Burning.
  • Fainting.
  • Rapid pulse.
  • Convulsions.

First Aid

  • Make the victim calm and restrict movement.
  • The affected area should be kept below the level of heart to restrict the flow of venom.
  • Remove any jewelry or other items from that area as the area may swell up.
  • Support the injured area with broad bandages.
  • Arrange for medical help immediately.
  • If a limb is affected, apply a tourniquet some distance above the site of bite.