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Thread: to tourniquet or not to tourniquet

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    Default to tourniquet or not to tourniquet

    I've heard a lot of different views on the subject of tourniquets. Obviously they are great if you bleeding out. But should it be used for venomous bites? Whats your opinion?


  2. #2
    Senior Member RandyRhoads's Avatar
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    Only a light tourniquet for neuro toxic bites. I mean light as in barely on only restricting lymphatic vessels not blood flow. Never use for hemo toxic bites. That being said if I get but by a neuro toxic snake hours from help alone I will sacrifice a limb and tourniquet to save my heart and lungs from shuttin down.

    If you are bleeding out and pressure and elevation won't stop it tourniquet immediately. Don't screw around wasting time with pressure points. Tighten until only arterial blood loss stops. Mark time. If help is far away every hour or so slowly Posen to flush out toxins.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Never ever use a tourniquet for snake bites. If you do, there is a good chance of losing the extremity that was bitten. Rather than that....

    Call 911 (if you have cell reception).
    Stay as calm as possible.
    Immobilize the area that was bitten - splint it if possible.
    remove any constricting clothing or jewelry before swelling starts.
    Clean and cover the wound.
    Position the bite area lower than the heart.

    Don't chase down the snake (it will get your heart rate up). Take a picture if you can for ID by docs later on.
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    Senior Member RandyRhoads's Avatar
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    Yes, in some cases use it for a snake bite as a constricting band...or as in my situation as I said. Life over limb.

    Do not cut or suck on it. This can cause further necrosis of tissue. I'm case you didn't know snake bite kits are not only a joke but dangerous.
    I guess if you have time and ability why not take a pic. But with only 2 neurotoxic snakes (Micrurus sp. and Crotalus scutulatus.) snakes in North America, one being extremely different, it doesn't matter they're all treated with CroFab and the other they don't even make Polyvalent for anymore anyway.
    Last edited by RandyRhoads; 11-18-2013 at 11:30 PM.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Sorry, Randy, but I have to agree with Crash. The odds of being bitten by a poisonous snake in the wild in the US is extremely low. Even then the snake might not inject venom. The idea behind the picture is to determine if the snake was venomous or not. There is no need to use any kind of constricting band. REMOVE ANY JEWELRY OR TIGHT FITTING CLOTHES. Call for an ambulance.

    Look for anything written by Sean Bush, MD at Loma Linda University Health. Dr. Bush is a nationally recognized expert on snake bites and has appeared in many documentaries on the subject as well as the Discovery show Venom ER. Here's his web page at the university.

    http://lomalindahealth.org/medical-c...er/index.page?

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    Senior Member RandyRhoads's Avatar
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    Lol and ill have to disagree with yous. Animal planet? Yes and I believe swamp wars and moonshiners give great advice. Hahah.

    The picture. Any ED doc should be able to tell by signs and symptoms. There's a good chance they're treating the symptoms and you may not receive and antivenin. Sure go for it if you have the opportunity.

    That show is called venom ER. Not venom prehospital care. I'm into herpetology, in the medical field, study a bit of toxicology. I keep venomous snakes and talk to many other venomous keepers. Like I said. The reason to not tourniquet a bite is because it trap it in the effected extremity and may cause you to lose it. If you are hours from help and suffer a serious neurotoxic bite screw losing the extremity id rather live. . Once again, lymphatic constricting bands not blood restricting. If you call 911 guess what the paramedic is gonna put on you?

    When I got field helping way out it remote desert I run the risk of a neurotoxic bite and I know how to treat it accordingly. I can sacrifice a limb but I can't bag myself and give compressions. I may slam an iv into myself if i can first shot, either way im driving like hell with a tourniquet.

    You all laughed at me when I brought it to your attention the main site had wrong and potentially harmful snakebite treatment info on it. Even though I cited references... All I was trying to do was better the site
    Last edited by RandyRhoads; 11-19-2013 at 01:04 PM.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    And I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night. You can laugh at Dr. Bush all you want. But he is one of the preeminent authorities in the field. If you know snakes and you know you've been bitten by a poisonous snake then fine I have no problem with what you are saying. But most folks don't know snakes, most folks are not "way out in the remote desert". Most folks step where they shouldn't or stick their hand where they shouldn't and get bit. The overwhelming odds are it wasn't a poisonous snake.

    As for me, I'll go with a doctor that has extensive experience in the field, is recognize as an expert across the nation and is the source other ER's call when they have a problem, rather than anything posted on here by anyone.

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    Senior Member RandyRhoads's Avatar
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    Did they have a complimentary breakfast?

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    I think the reason you are supposed to remove all jewelry and stuff from your pockets is to make it easier for your rescuer to take off with your stuff.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    They are going to get your wallet anyway so you might as well make it easy for them.

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    Member M.Demetrius's Avatar
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    As you said, Rick, sometimes vipers don't inject venom when they bite. Old Timers have told me that a baby rattlesnake, for example, is more likely to inject the whole load than a bigger, older snake, but I don't know about that. I do know that rattlesnake, skinned, dressed and fried or roasted is a pretty darned good supper. Uh, red or white wine with serpent?
    Saepe veritas est dura.
    (Often the truth is harsh.)

  12. #12
    Senior Member RandyRhoads's Avatar
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    I like red wine.

    The old timer is right. One of the few bits of info around true. Baby's do not posses the control over their venom load like adults. They operate on all or none. This however does not mean they are more dangerous. A baby delivering its full load is nothing compared to a full grown 8' C atrox delivering its full yield of venom.

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    Not a Mod finallyME's Avatar
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    http://www.itstactical.com/medcom/me...om-a-crotalid/

    This is what I usually refer to. I am not an expert....so.......
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  14. #14

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    Ive heard the same thing. referring to the more mature snakes giving a dry bite as an initial warning. the younger ones seem to be all or nothing- seems familiar...lol

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