68-Year-Old Man Dies After Being Bitten By Snake On Australian Camping Trip

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An Australian man has died after being bitten by a venomous snake, according to a statement from the Department of Tourism, Sport, and Culture.

The man was camping in Garig Gunak Barlu National Park, which is in the Northern Territory of Australia, with his friend when he was bitten by a western brown snake.

A western brown snake, or a Pseudonaja nuchalis, is a very fast, highly venomous snake that is native to Australia. If you are bitten by a western brown snake, your symptoms include headache, vomiting/nausea, abdominal pain, severe bleeding, and even kidney damage.

After the man was bitten, he went to the Ranger station, where they treated him “in consultation with the District Medical Officer and CareFlight,” according to the Department of Tourism, Sport and Culture.

“Sadly, the man lost consciousness and later died,” the statement continued.

Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor Service has tips on what to do if you are bitten by a venomous snake.

  • Don’t wash the area of the bite or try to suck out the venom – it’s extremely important to retain traces of venom for use with venom identification kits.
  • Don’t incise or cut the bite, or apply a high tourniquet. Cutting or incising the bite won’t help, and high tourniquets are ineffective and can be fatal if released.
  • Do bandage firmly, splint and immobilise to stop the spread of venom. All the major medical associations recommend slowing the spread of venom by placing a folded pad over the bite area, and then applying a firm bandage. It shouldn’t stop blood flow to the limb or congest the veins. Only remove the bandage in a medical facility, as the release of pressure will cause a rapid flow of venom through the bloodstream.
  • Don’t allow the victim to walk or move their limbs. Use a splint or sling to minimise all limb movement, then put the patient on a stretcher or bring transportation to the patient.
  • Do seek medical help immediately as the venom can cause severe damage to health or even death within a few hours.