I’ve just read an article on Health24, Snakebite: What to do. This has convinced me that, if you should get fanged by one of these little buggers, your chances of survival are very slim indeed. Especially in South Africa.
WARNING: DO NOT TRY ANY OF MY SNAKEBITE ADVICE AT HOME. (Or anywhere else, for that matter!)
I’ve added my comments in italics below the content of the article:
1. Get to a medical facility as quickly as possible for the best chance of surviving a venomous snakebite.
This advice is of no use. In Jo’burg, a man’s gangrenous foot was finally amputated below the knee after his lawyer spent three weeks trying to expedite the treatment. Should you require treatment after being bitten by a snake, your lawyer will have to obtain an Order from the Constitutional Court. (Normal waiting period: two years.) By then, you would have passed on. Sorry.
2. Remember, when a venomous snake does bite, it is seldom fatal. However, these bites can cause permanent injuries to the affected part, usually a limb.
This implies that you should give your lawyer at least two years’ notice whenever you see a venomous snake – allowing the lawyer time to arrange an Order for the amputation of your affected limb.
3. Snakebite mortality rate is around one in every 68 bites; resulting in about 15 fatalities a year in South Africa.
Higher Grade Advanced Limpopo Maths will show that: 68 x 15 = 1020. This means that about one thousand and twenty snakes die in this country every year from bites. Almost the same amount as the number of rhinos slaughtered to keep those horny Chinese in a constant state of Homo erectus.
4. Recovery from a bite is influenced by several factors, including the amount of venom injected, the site and depth of the bite; as well as the health, body size and age of the person.
In South Africa, recovery is also influenced by race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, the size of your government grant, political affiliation, BEE compliancy, and whether you are treated at 1 Military Hospital; or at a secret medical facility known only to God and Mac Maharaj.
5. Symptoms: These include, but are not limited to, dizziness, poor co-ordination, slurred speech, aggression, mental disorientation, excessive salivation and drooping eyelids.
This should not be confused with the symptoms displayed by the “Manne,” after they have been celebrating a win by their favourite rugby team or soccer team.
6. Hints for snakebite:
Catch the snake and take it, along with the patient, to the doctor for identification purposes. Then take it home – they make wonderful pets.
Stay calm; fear and anxiety cause an increase in heart rate. Drinking copious amounts of whiskey normally helps. DO NOT GIVE THE PATIENT ANY ALCOHOL. (Unless he pays for it, of course.)
Do not try to suck the venom out. Snakes get very annoyed when amateurs try to do this. Get a professional “snake milker” to do the job – they have the correct tools and expertise. (Besides, snakes have very small udders and teats – extremely difficult to locate and milk.)
If a snake spits into someone's eyes, rinse with large amounts of water, preferably by holding the snake’s head under a running tap. If water isn’t available, a few good whacks with the heel of your shoe – behind its scaly head – will teach the snake to behave in future.
Lastly, don't be blasé about snakes; they are untrustworthy creatures. Humankind has had a long history of problems with these evil little blighters – since *Genesis 3:1 – in case you’re interested. But this warning is not just aimed at Christians – even atheists should heed this advice – as should pagans, wigwams, Seven Day Adventurers, Hormones, Orthodontist Jews, Karma Sutras, and members of the Dutch Deformed Church. Oh yes, and the Pope. (Hope I didn’t miss anyone?)
*Genesis - In Genesis, (Old Testament), snakes were called “serpents.” Just like Solomon Mahlangu Drive used to be called “Hans Strydom” Drive and Tshwane was called “Pretoria,” by the snakes.
PS When reporting at a medical facility, never say you were bitten by an “Inyoka.” It means you’ve been bitten by a cable thief.