A viper bite, which may be from either a nonpoisonous or poisonous viper is a wound caused by the fangs of the viper. These bites may cause envenomation and, if the bite is extremely severe, it can be fatal depending on the type of venom the viper produces and its lethality. All vipers should be considered poisonous, although only a few secrete enough venom to inoculate poison deep enough that it penetrates into the tissues. Vipers usually take habitation near and among the rocks, near hedges and shrubs. These reptiles only attack if they sense very near danger, their first defense mechanism is typically to escape, however when they can’t they will be prone to attack those who are seen as a danger to them. It is therefore important to walk along the paths, and to test any water you plan to enter in the wild with a stick (the noises usually caused by the stick scare the reptiles and cause them to flee). Always make sure to wear appropriate shoes and socks, and pants that cover all of your legs, when in such environments.

What are the symptoms associated with viper bites?

In case you are a bitten by a viper, it does not mean that the viper has released its toxic poison. The bite will be recognizable because it will be visible on the surface of the skin, and two holes spaced approximately one centimeter between each other  should be visible and a conformation of a fang bite. In some certain circumstances there may be only one hole. The bite usually bring pain and a burning sensation to the area affected, then it could become into a manifested edema, erythema and blisters which tend to extended along the affected area.

What to do in the case of a viper bite

First and foremost it is very important to remain calm, as the activation of the stress mechanisms facilitates the spread of any poison which may have entered the body. Assess the patient’s airway, breathing and circulation. Make sure to immediately remove any rings, bracelets, watches and other similar accessories that you are carrying on you, before the affected area swells. Wash the wound with running water and disinfect it if you have hydrogen peroxide or permanganate potassium available to you. Wrap or compress the area of the bite, but without using a tourniquet, and seek medical assistance from the emergency room as soon as possible.

What not to do in case of a viper bite

  • Do not disinfect with alcohol or similar alcoholic solutions.
  • Do not grope to remove or aspirate the poison in any way, this includes trying to suck the venom out of the affected area.
  • Do not consume any alcohol.
  • Do not try to increase circulation within the body in anyway.
  • Do not cauterize with strong acids or depend on home remedies.



Disclaimer: The information in this article does not in any way replace the intervention or signs associated with this type of emergency, but rather only provides simple tips as how to keep the situation under control while waiting for a medical rescue team to arrive.