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British man dies after bite from sea snake off Australia's north coast



Author: Craig Adams
Date: Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Sea snake bites are rare and as with this tragic event, usually involve working with nets. The first aid treatment for sea snake bite is the same as for Australian terrestrial snakes - Pressure Bandage + Immobilisation.

The following article has been extracted from The Guardian Friday October 5th 2018.


Man, 23 and reportedly a backpacker, bitten when pulling up net on fishing boat

A young British man has died after being bitten by a sea snake while working aboard a fishing trawler off Australia’s northern coast.

The 23-year-old was bitten as he pulled up a net around noon on Thursday, when the vessel was about 70 nautical miles south of Groote Eylandt, an island in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Territory police said.

Deaths from sea snakes are rare despite their deadly venom.

St John Ambulance operations manager Craig Garraway told the Northern Territory News paramedics went out to the trawler “but unfortunately by the time they got out there he had passed away”.

The boat eventually docked at the small township of Borroloola where the man, reportedly a backpacker, was declared dead.

Police said the British embassy was notified of his death and a postmortem examination would be conducted.

Some 30 of the 70 known species of sea snake – marine reptiles found in tropical waters – are found in Australia.

Sea snakes are venomous but considered to be non-aggressive and rarely attack unless provoked.

The Marine Education Society of Australasia said most sea snake bites occur on trawlers, although only a small proportion are fatal to humans as it is rare for much venom to be injected.

It said there were no deaths previously recorded from bites in Australian waters.

Aussie snake handler bitten by deadly pet taipan



Author: Craig Adams
Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2017

The following story was published by The West Australian, Monday November 6


An Aussie snake handler is fighting for life after being bitten by one of the most venomous snakes in the world.

Nathan Chetcuti was bitten by his new pet, the deadly inland Taipan, on Sunday afternoon.

Seven News understands the 19-year-old’s dad was able to call emergency services and rush Mr Chetcuti to Redcliffe Hospital where he is now fighting for life.

“(Inland Taipan’s) really have a double punch with their venom,” snake expert Christina Zdenek said.

“It has profound devastating effects.”

Mr Chetcuti is no stranger to snakes, and as a python breeder, has dozens of non-venomous lizards and snakes at his North Lakes home.

He’s been bitten by his pets before, but nothing of the inland Taipan magnitude.

It’s believed the snake lashed out as Mr Chetcuti tried to put his new pet back in it’s enclosure.

Mr Chetcuti’s family are at his bedside as he continues his fight for life.

Biggest ever' antivenom dose saves boy bitten by funnel-web spider in Australia



Author: Craig Adams
Date: Saturday, February 25, 2017

The below article was taken from Sky News Friday 24 February 2017. For those of you who are uncertain of how to treat a suspected funnelweb spider bite, use the same first aid method as you would for a snakebite: apply a compression bandage to the affected limb, immobilise the victim and seek urgent medical attention.


A 10-year-old boy is lucky to be alive after surviving being bitten by one of the world's deadliest spiders.

Matthew Mitchell required what is believed to be the largest dose of antivenom ever administered in Australia - 12 vials in total - after experiencing numerous convulsions.

The youngster from Berkeley Vale in New South Wales was helping his father clear out a shed at their home when he was bitten on a finger by a funnel-web spider which was inside one of his shoes.

"It sort of clawed on to me and all the legs and everything crawled around my finger and I couldn't get it off," he told Australia's Daily Telegraph.

His family rushed him to hospital where he was given the antivenom - an unheard-of amount, according to the Australian Reptile Park, which runs a antivenom milking programme.

"I've never heard of it, it's incredible," the park's general manager Tim Faulkner told the Australian Associated Press on Friday.

"To walk out of hospital a day later with no effects is a testament to the antivenom."

The funnel-web spider is native to Australia and can kill a human in less than 15 minutes.

"It would have been a fatal bite (without antivenom) there's little to no doubt of that," said Mr Faulkner.

"A small child is more vulnerable - but that bite would have killed an adult."

The offending spider was captured and taken to the reptile park, located north of Sydney.

Last month the facility released a video showing people how to collect funnel-web spiders safely.

The park is the only supplier of venom to the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, which provides medical professionals with the antivenom to cure snake and funnel-web spider bites.

To keep up the supply of venoms the staff regularly 'milk' more than 300 snakes and 500 spiders that are included in the programme.

Tiger snake bites father and son in their Melbourne home



Author: Craig Adams
Date: Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The below article was taken from The Guardian Friday 6 January 2017. Manage snakebite risk around your home by being prepared. Stock appropriate compression bandages and learning the basic principals of snakebite first aid.


Tiger snake bites father and son in their Melbourne home

Matt Horn bitten twice after he found 11-year-old Braeden, who has autism, playing with the reptile.

A Melbourne father and his 11-year-old autistic son have been bitten by a tiger snake that slithered into their suburban home.

Matt Horn was bitten twice as he tried to protect his son, Braeden, who had been bitten while playing with the snake in the hallway of their Diamond Creek home.

Ambulance Victoria confirmed on Friday that paramedics had treated the pair for suspected snake bites on Tuesday before they were taken to the Austin hospital.

A snake catcher, Mark Pelley, was called in to remove the snake. “Both of them got bitten and they got away unscathed because they did the right thing by calling triple-zero and the ambulance attended them straight away,” Pelley said.

“The only problem was the father was trapped in the room and he couldn’t get any treatment from the paramedics until I arrived to remove the snake.”

Pelley said tiger snakes were not normally aggressive and would strike only if people attempted to handle them. “The son had autism and didn’t know what was happening so he handled the snake and it bit him,” he said.

Tiger snakes often entered homes to escape the heat on hot nights, he said.

Australian man bitten by taipan snake dies after six days in hospital



Author: Craig Adams
Date: Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The below article was taken from The Guardian, Tuesday 27 December 2016. The question raised by many of these cases is wether or not snakebite first aid was immediately and correctly applied. The Pressure Bandage + Immobilisation technique has been proven to delay the spread of venom into the system. Snakebite is a medical emergency requiring an immediate response:

  • 1) check for danger
  • 2) commence first aid

Australian man bitten by taipan snake dies after six days in hospital

David Pitt, 77, went into cardiac arrest after highly venomous reptile bit him on the foot in his home in far north Queensland.

An elderly man bitten by a taipan at his home in Queensland has died after spending nearly a week in hospital.

David Pitt, 77, went into cardiac arrest after the highly venomous snake bit him on the foot at his home in Yorkeys Knob, Cairns, on 20 December.

Pitt was attempting to remove the snake which had slithered into his lounge room when he was bitten. He was revived and taken to intensive care at Cairns hospital but died on Boxing Day.

The coastal taipan is Australia’s largest venomous snake, with some adults growing two metres long.


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