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  #1  
Old 06 January 2010, 06:18 AM
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Snake Suck the venom out of a snake bite

Comment: Can you really suck the venom out of the wound from a poisonous snake?
Common sense says no, but I can't find a good answer out there.
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  #2  
Old 06 January 2010, 02:28 PM
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WebMD says it's probably pointless to use mechanical suction...
Quote:
While applying mechanical suction (such as with a Sawyer Extractor) has been recommended by many authorities in the past, it is highly unlikely that it will remove any significant amount of venom, and it is possible that suction could actually increase local tissue damage.
And goes on to say that suction by mouth is dangerous and should not be attempted...
Quote:
Do NOT cut and suck. Cutting into the bite site can damage underlying organs, increase the risk of infection, and does not result in venom removal.
Emedicinehealth uses nearly identical wording, and Medicinenet seems to agree (with slightly different wording, saying mechanical suction may have limited benefit).
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  #3  
Old 12 January 2010, 03:43 AM
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As someone who has dealt with many venomous snakes and who interacts with dozens of people who handle venomous snakes, I would say that rumorbuster's cites exactly match the accepted knowledge in the field (probably not even ascribing limited benefit to mechanical suction).
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  #4  
Old 12 January 2010, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Comment: Can you really suck the venom out of the wound from a poisonous snake?
Maybe it's just me, but I really wouldn't want to suck on a wounded poisonous snake.
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  #5  
Old 12 January 2010, 08:48 PM
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On top of all that, you might accidentally ingest some of the poison.
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  #6  
Old 12 January 2010, 08:48 PM
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Which brings us to the old joke about the two hikers in the Australian outback - but everyone knows that one so no need to repeat it.
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Old 12 January 2010, 09:07 PM
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Okay, so how about the one about slapping a chunk of liver on the bite? (the folk advice, not the joke, although if you have one I'm listening...)
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  #8  
Old 12 January 2010, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
Which brings us to the old joke about the two hikers in the Australian outback - but everyone knows that one so no need to repeat it.
I must be missing that joke - can you PM it to me (in case it is NFBSK or NSFW)?
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  #9  
Old 12 January 2010, 09:45 PM
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"I--I'm sorry, I cannot suck the leg of anyone I'm not engaged to."--Woody Allen, Bananas
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  #10  
Old 12 January 2010, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post
I must be missing that joke - can you PM it to me (in case it is NFBSK or NSFW)?
NFFBSK, NSFW and PM'd.
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  #11  
Old 12 January 2010, 09:55 PM
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Thanks Eddy and yes it is all of those. Funny...
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  #12  
Old 12 January 2010, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan With a 'Y' View Post
Okay, so how about the one about slapping a chunk of liver on the bite?
I have never heard of that one; I can't even begin to think what that would accomplish. Pretty sure that one is false.
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  #13  
Old 13 January 2010, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
I have never heard of that one; I can't even begin to think what that would accomplish. Pretty sure that one is false.
This is an old one... It appeared on an episode of Gunsmoke. A guy got rattlesnake-bit, and Festus went and stole a chicken in order to slap the "poultice" (notice the word-root, "poult," as in poultry) on the wound, which was supposed to somehow wick out the venom. I don't think it would work, but it's a folk remedy from a long way back.

re getting a mouthful of the venom, as I understand it, it isn't "poisonous" as in an oral poison. You'd get a little in your mouth, then spit it out again, and almost none of it would get into your bloodstream.

The idea of cutting and then sucking is usually described as being used on ankles, calves, etc. The danger of cutting into any major organs is fairly minimal in the places *most* snakebites hit us. But, yeah, if the victim had been laying down napping, he might get bitten in the abdomen, in which case cutting isn't so good an idea!

In a Corto Maltese comic book ("graphic novel," please!) he gets bitten on the forearm, and, in a panic, pulls out his automatic pistol and -- shoots himself in that spot, blowing awak a big chunk of flesh, and, he presumed, much of the injected venom too. I have *serious* doubts whether this would do any good!

How quickly does the venom seep away from the vicinity of the wound? It seems to me this is the very, very key parameter!

Silas
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  #14  
Old 13 January 2010, 03:09 AM
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Silas is right, snake venom is pretty harmless if ingested because it's not poisonous.

I remember back in the '70s we were taught to cut the area, suck the venom, apply Condy's crystals, and whack on a tourniquet above the area of the wound.

Then we found out that that was totally wrong, and would do more harm than good.

So now, we'd immobilize the limb with a splint and apply a capillary bandage. ie; starting from the bite, apply a tight gauze strip around the leg/arm and tightly wind it as far up the limb as the bandage will allow. It meant to compress the lymphatic system or something. I don't care why, as as long as I know what to do.

One important point I remember from my first aid course was DO NOT REMOVE THE VENOM FROM THE AREA OF THE WOUND. It can help the hospital positively identify the type of snake, and a lot of the antivenines are species specific.
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  #15  
Old 13 January 2010, 03:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SatansHobbit View Post
Silas is right, snake venom is pretty harmless if ingested because it's not poisonous.
That is of course assuming you have no cuts in your mouth, or a bleeding ulcer, or another avenue through which the venom could enter the blood stream.
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  #16  
Old 13 January 2010, 09:51 PM
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I am of course reminded of the snake-venom expert Douglas Adams consulted before heading to the island of Komodo, asking him what do do if bitten by a deadly snake:

Quote:
He looked at me as if I were stupid.

"What do you mean, what do you do?" he asked. "You die, of course. That's what deadly means."
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  #17  
Old 13 January 2010, 10:07 PM
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E. Q. Taft -New keyboard - Now, Stat, statim immediatement.
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  #18  
Old 15 January 2010, 03:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silas Sparkhammer View Post
This is an old one... It appeared on an episode of Gunsmoke. A guy got rattlesnake-bit, and Festus went and stole a chicken in order to slap the "poultice" (notice the word-root, "poult," as in poultry) on the wound, which was supposed to somehow wick out the venom. I don't think it would work, but it's a folk remedy from a long way back.
That treatment was also featured in the novel The Education of Littletree.
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  #19  
Old 26 October 2010, 05:27 PM
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Snake

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silas Sparkhammer View Post
This is an old one... It appeared on an episode of Gunsmoke. A guy got rattlesnake-bit, and Festus went and stole a chicken in order to slap the "poultice" (notice the word-root, "poult," as in poultry) on the wound, which was supposed to somehow wick out the venom. I don't think it would work, but it's a folk remedy from a long way back.
Quote:
That treatment was also featured in the novel The Education of Littletree.
IIRC, it was also in the book/movie The Yearling. I think that's how the kid ends up with the fawn --- his father is snake-bitten and killls the doe to harvest her liver.

And yes, I well remember in the 1970s my father having a "snake-bite kit" with his hunting stuff --- it had blades and a tourniquet. Wonder how many people made their situation worse by using those things?
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  #20  
Old 27 October 2010, 03:38 AM
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Quite a few, I'd imagine. I remember one first-aid course mentioning snakebites that explicitly said not to attempt such treatments under any circumstances.
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