Info for 1st responder to the bite:
If possible, identify the species of snake, make sure that it is a rattlesnake.
Move the victim away from the snakes striking distance to prevent any further bites. If possible, carry (do not allow the victim to walk under any circumstances) the victim slowly to the table area near the parking lot.
ACTIVATE EMS immediately – tell a parent (that is capable of remaining calm) to dial 911 and instruct EMS to “PENASQUITOS CREEK PARK” in 92129
Keep victim down, still and calm
this should include removal of bystanders and keeping practices going. We need to slow the heart rate.
Remove all clothing or jewelry that may become constrictive, swelling may become a problem with any constricting articles of clothing.
Wash/flush the wound with water.
Immobilize the bite with a sling or some sort of non-constricting object. If in lower extremity, you can very gently, without raising much, slide a towel, blank or jacket underneath.
use your mouth to suction the wound.
Keep the wounded area lower than heart level, but do not allow it to hang down. If lower extremity, let the leg or foot rest on the ground and prop the victim’s trunk (upper body) up on a coaches bag, blankets, jackets or someone’s lap
Keep victim and family calm until EMS arrives. I confirmed this morning that Pomerado Hospital does stock anti-venom and although time is of the essence, our EMS system and hospital are so close that we can trust their response time and not panic.
In the event you are questioning the need for a snake bite kit, my opinion is no. We have an EMS station very close and well versed in snake bites. We have a hospital minutes away prepared to treat. Also, many bites are actually “dry bites” so applying suction, etc., may worsen the situation.
**Quick Facts on Rattlesnakes in California