Watching your step in your backyard might just save your life. The summer heat is flushing out snakes across the region with numerous sightings in suburban backyards on the increase.
RACQ CQ Rescue has airlifted four snake bite patients since August, including a three-year-old and a 17-year-old from Collinsville. Two patients were from Proserpine and a Clermont woman was yesterday transferred to Mackay Base Hospital by the rescue helicopter after being bitten on the toe by a brown snake.
So far this year, RACQ CQ Rescue has transferred seven patients to the hospital with snake bites, which is actually down from 11 last year.
Of particular concern at present was the number of highly-venomous brown snakes on the move in the hottest part of the day in yards and gardens across the region.
RACQ CQ Rescue spokesperson Naomi Noy said in the event of a snake bite, immobilising the patient and limb with a crepe bandage and calling 000 could potentially save a life.
“With a snake bite, stopping the lymphatic spread of the venom is of paramount importance. With any snake bite, bandage the limb firmly, splint it if possible and immobilise the patient immediately,” she said.
“Every snake bite should be managed as a medical emergency. Correct first aid could save a snake victim’s life.”
The rescue helicopter service urged anyone administering first aid to a snake bite victim to not wash the area or try to suck the venom out and to not incise or cut the bite or apply a thigh tourniquet. Identification of the snake was often possible at the hospital by the venom present at the bite site.
Mrs Noy said a brown snake could potentially kill in as little as 30 minutes, so with any suspected snake bite seek medical attention urgently.
During the hot weather it was vital residents took precautions and made children aware of the danger of snakes as most people were bitten when trying to kill or capture the reptiles, Mrs Noy said.
“When it gets warm, snakes are on the move and given how incredibly hot it is now, they are seeking refuge from the heat,” she said.
“Watch your step outside and wear appropriate footwear at all times.”