Maintain a Low Heart Rate [Part 2]
Supporting a lower heart rate is much easier if you are remaining stationary, which is what this is preferred if at all possible. Even in many situations where help seems far away, it’s important to consider that EMT and first responders could potentially get to you faster than you to them.
Hiking out of a wilderness area presents it’s own set of unknowns and risks, e.g. getting lost or twisting an ankle, especially in an unfamiliar area.
If you are waiting for help…
As you wait for help, there are several things you can do to minimize the damage from the venom. Applying a tourniquet is not one of them, however. Just as the suction created by The Extractor causes the venom to concentrate in one local area, a tourniquet will produce similar results. Dilution is your friend here, as higher concentrations of the venom will result in greater tissue damage.
Immobilization is the best medicine here. Remove tight clothing from the bit area, often a limb, as it may swell quickly and cause additional complications.
If possible, use a marker to mark the edge of the swollen area every 15 minutes, mark the area and the time next to each. This can help emergency professional determine the extent of the envenomation.
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Photo: Stefan Jugensen, Flickr