Saturday, September 29, 2007

Coghlan’s Snake Bite Kit: Expert Review

Just found on Amazon a great expert review on one of snake bite kits:

"I work as a tour guide in the outback of Australia. I was recently horrified to examine the contents of this snake bite kit that one of my overseas passengers was carrying. I seriously cannot believe that in this day and age of first aid wisdom, Coghlan's are still selling such a frighteningly wrong product. Do they know nothing about correct snake bite treatment?

No you do not inject antivenin immediately, as the instructions advise. Antivenin can be just as dangerous as a snake bite, if the wrong one is administered. Further, if a snake bite is dry (most are), then the administration of antivenin is terribly dangerous. Only after a victim starts to show symptoms of invenimation should antivenin be given, and then only by an expert who has positively identified the type of snake.

No you should not clean the site of the bite. Leaving the bite alone is crucial to the correct identification of the venom and administration of the correct antivenin.

God no you should never cut into a snake bite with a scalpel. Are these guys serious!? How can they be so out of touch with correct first aid procedures? Not only do you risk introducing the venom into the bloodstream but cutting a patient will no doubt cause much anxiety and heighten the pulse rate... precisely what you are trying to avoid happening. The flowing blood will also wash away the venom which you need on the skin for identification purposes.

No you should not use a lymph constrictor. The lymph system is best slowed down by bandaging with a regular elastic bandage from the bite site down to the end of the limb, then all the way back up to the top of the limb. But then if Coghlan's told people that, they wouldn't make any money from selling these dodgy snake bite kits, would they?

I'm amazed Coghlan's haven't been sued for selling this product. I would strongly advise they remove it from the market, because it is a dangerous bit of merchandise. If Coghlan's were in my first aid class, they would have received a fail."

By Gary W. Topic (NSW, Australia)

It sounds like the only snake bite kit experts recommend is the Sawyer’s Extractor:

A lot of other "older" kits got negative reviews as they include things you should not use, like a scalpel for skin cuts or a restriction bondage / tourniquet.

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