Wow, spring already and we are flat out, as soon as we get warm days, snakes are on the move....we are doing lots of reptile awareness talks around Victoria and offer simply, effective advice.....firstly, wear appropriate clothing when working and playing in the outdoors, secondly, look where you are putting your hands and feet, thirdly, if you see a snake, dont try to touch it, move it or harass it, leave it be...if its a threat to you and your family (including pets) move away from it and call a professional snake catcher.
There is lots of "advice" on Facebook and the internet, but its not all accurate, so who do you trust....great questions, lots of these people are "experts" in some way or another....instructors for nurses, paramedics, snake experts etc etc etc....but the simple fact is there is often too much said and they get bogged down in details, which in the end brings them undone when it comes down to reviewing the information.
For example, there is an article about Polyvalent Anti-venom, claiming its new and a one shot fix for snake bite, thats no really the case...Polyvalent AV has been around a long time here in Australia, at least the last 20 years, the reasons the hospitals are now favouring it is not because its better, but because its more cost effective(remember hospitals have government set budgets). Monovalent AV is preferable medically due to the fact there is a smaller injection of AV for a typical bite meaning less chance of an adverse reaction to the AV, however if you need to stock 3-5 vials of this stuff and it expires in 12 months, there is a lot of it that wont get used. Because there are 5 specific AVs in Australia (Brown, Black, Tiger, Death Adder and Taipan) in some places there is a need for all 5 to be kept and at least 3-5 vials available.....thats 15-20 vials of AV!!! or they can have 3-5 vials of Polyvalent on hand which are larger doses, increased risks of reaction, but more cost effective. The cost saving outweighs the risk to the patient, especially with good medical care.
Always remember a good first aid course will teach you the correct way to do first aid for snake bite, the pressure Immobilisation Technique (either PIT or PIB). But here is a link to the Australian Resuscitation Council for the facts (these guys develop the first aid for all providers to teach). I would strongly recommend a good first aid course such as that taught by our friends at Lifeaid. We also put our trust into the Survival Snake Bite kits and SMART bandages which have been demonstrated to be the only bandage to apply to correct pressure for effective PIT, please see our store for your first aid needs.