How to draw poison out of a finger: What Is the Best Thing to Soak an Infected Finger in?


First Aid Information for Finger Infection

Treating a Finger Infection at Home

Because finger infections have the potential to become severe, home care is limited. A very minor paronychia may be managed at home if you have no other complicating medical illness, such as diabetes. All of the other infections require urgent evaluation and treatment by a doctor. Because delay in treatment may result in disability or loss of the finger, you should not hesitate to obtain medical care.

A small, simple paronychia may respond to frequent warm water soaks, application of over-the-counter antibiotic ointment, and elevation of the hand. However, if no improvement is noticed in one to two days, you should see your doctor at once.

Medical Treatment for Finger Infections

The mainstay of treatment for finger infections is antibiotics and proper wound care. The proper wound care varies for each of the different infections. This can range from a simple incision and drainage of the wound to an extensive surgical exploration of the wound to remove as much infected material as possible.

Some of the infections can be treated as an outpatient, but several will require inpatient treatment and intravenous antibiotics. Because the organisms that cause these infections are similar, many of the same types of antibiotics may be used.

  • Paronychia: Often the wound may be treated with wound care alone. If a collection of pus is present, it will need to be drained. This may be done in several different ways. Commonly a scalpel is used to make a simple incision over the collection of pus to allow drainage. Or the scalpel may be inserted along the edge of the nail to allow drainage. If the infection is large, a part of the nail may be removed. If this procedure is required, the doctor will inject a local anesthetic at the base of the finger that will provide for a pain-free procedure. Most often, you will be placed on an oral antibiotic. You will then be instructed how to take care of the wound at home. (See paronychia)
  • Felon: Often incision and drainage is required because the infection develops within the multiple compartments of the fingertip pad. Usually an incision will be made on one or both sides of the fingertip. The doctor will then insert an instrument into the wound and break up the compartments to aid in the drainage. Sometimes a piece of rubber tubing or gauze will be placed into the wound to aid the initial drainage. The wound may also be flushed out with a sterile solution to remove as much debris as possible. These infections will require antibiotics. The wound will then require specific home care as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Herpetic whitlow: Antiviral drugs such as acyclovir (Zovirax) or valacyclovir (Valtrex) may shorten the duration of illness. Pain medication is often needed. The wound must be properly protected to prevent a secondary bacterial infection and to prevent you from infecting other sites on your body or other people. Incision and drainage are not indicated and, if done, may actually delay healing.
  • Cellulitis: This infection is superficial, and oral antibiotics are usually sufficient. If the area is extensive or your immune system is weakened, then you may be treated in the hospital with intravenous antibiotics.
  • Infectious flexor tenosynovitis: This is a surgical emergency and will require rapid treatment, hospital admission, and early treatment with intravenous antibiotics. Usually the area will need to be surgically opened and all debris and infected material removed. Because of the intricate nature of the fingers and hands, a hand surgeon will usually perform this procedure. After surgery, several days of intravenous antibiotics will be required followed by a course of oral antibiotics.
  • Deep space infections: Much like flexor tenosynovitis, this can require emergency care. If the infection is mild, then only oral antibiotics will be needed. If more severe, a hand surgeon should evaluate the wound and intravenous antibiotics begun. Often these wounds will require incision and drainage followed by a course of antibiotics.


Puncture Wounds | HealthLink BC

Do you have a puncture wound?

This is a wound caused by a sharp, pointed object going through the skin. Puncture wounds are deeper and narrower than cuts.

How old are you?

Less than 12 years

Less than 12 years

12 years or older

12 years or older

Are you male or female?

Why do we ask this question?

The medical assessment of symptoms is based on the body parts you have.

  • If you are transgender or non-binary, choose the sex that matches the body parts (such as ovaries, testes, prostate, breasts, penis, or vagina) you now have in the area where you are having symptoms.
  • If your symptoms aren’t related to those organs, you can choose the gender you identify with.
  • If you have some organs of both sexes, you may need to go through this triage tool twice (once as “male” and once as “female”). This will make sure that the tool asks the right questions for you.

Do you have an eye injury?

Do you have an injury caused by a fish hook?

Do you have a deep wound in your head, neck, chest, or belly?

A deep puncture wound in any of these areas could damage the internal organs.


Deep puncture wound to head, neck, chest, or belly


Deep puncture wound to head, neck, chest, or belly

Are you having trouble breathing (more than a stuffy nose)?


Difficulty breathing more than a stuffy nose


Difficulty breathing more than a stuffy nose

Has the pain lasted for more than 8 hours?


Pain for more than 8 hours


Pain for more than 8 hours

Is the pain getting worse?

Have you been injected with something under high pressure, like oil or paint from a sprayer?


Injection under high pressure


Injection under high pressure

Is there a deep puncture in or over a joint?

A puncture that goes into a joint can be serious.


Deep puncture in joint area


Deep puncture in joint area

Do you have a wound on your arm, leg, hand, or foot that is more than just a scratch?

For an arm or leg wound, is the skin below the wound (farther down the limb) blue, pale, or cold to the touch and different from the other arm or leg?

This may mean that a major blood vessel was damaged and that blood is not reaching the rest of the arm or leg.


Skin is blue, pale, or cold below an arm or leg injury


Skin is blue, pale, or cold below an arm or leg injury

Can you move the area below the injury normally, even though it may hurt?


Able to move limb normally below injury


Unable to move limb normally below injury

For an arm or leg wound, is there any numbness, tingling, or loss of feeling around the wound or below the wound (farther down the arm or leg)?

This may mean that a nerve was damaged.


Numbness, tingling, or loss of feeling around or below an arm or leg injury


Numbness, tingling, or loss of feeling around or below an arm or leg injury

Do you think you may have a fever?

Are there red streaks leading away from the area or pus draining from it?

Do you have diabetes, a weakened immune system, peripheral arterial disease, or any surgical hardware in the area?

“Hardware” includes things like artificial joints, plates or screws, catheters, and medicine pumps.


Diabetes, immune problems, peripheral arterial disease, or surgical hardware in affected area


Diabetes, immune problems, peripheral arterial disease, or surgical hardware in affected area

Have you been stuck with a used or dirty needle?


Stuck with used or dirty needle


Stuck with used or dirty needle

Is there an object stuck in the wound, and you can’t get it out?

You may not be able to remove it because of where or how deep the wound is or because it causes severe pain.

Is the object large or small?

Large means things like a nail or piece of wood that is at least 5.1 cm (2 in.) long and anything bigger than that. Small means things like a pencil tip or a small splinter or sliver.


Large embedded object


Small embedded object

Did you have swelling or bruising within 30 minutes of the injury?


Swelling or bruising within 30 minutes of injury


Swelling or bruising within 30 minutes of injury

Has the swelling or bruising raised a lump that’s more than about 4 cm (1. 5 in.) across or deep? This would be bigger than a golf ball or Ping-Pong ball.


Lump bigger than golf ball or Ping-Pong ball


Lump bigger than golf ball or Ping-Pong ball

Do you have a puncture wound in your foot?


Puncture wound in foot

Did the object go through a shoe or boot?

An object that has enough force behind it to go through a shoe can cause serious injury to the foot. Puncture wounds in the sole of the foot also have a high risk of infection.


Object went through a shoe or boot


Object went through a shoe or boot

Many things can affect how your body responds to a symptom and what kind of care you may need. These include:

  • Your age. Babies and older adults tend to get sicker quicker.
  • Your overall health. If you have a condition such as diabetes, HIV, cancer, or heart disease, you may need to pay closer attention to certain symptoms and seek care sooner.
  • Medicines you take. Certain medicines, such as blood thinners (anticoagulants), medicines that suppress the immune system like steroids or chemotherapy, or natural health products can cause symptoms or make them worse.
  • Recent health events, such as surgery or injury. These kinds of events can cause symptoms afterwards or make them more serious.
  • Your health habits and lifestyle, such as eating and exercise habits, smoking, alcohol or drug use, sexual history, and travel.

Try Home Treatment

You have answered all the questions. Based on your answers, you may be able to take care of this problem at home.

  • Try home treatment to relieve the symptoms.
  • Call your doctor if symptoms get worse or you have any concerns (for example, if symptoms are not getting better as you would expect). You may need care sooner.

Symptoms of infection may include:

  • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in or around the area.
  • Red streaks leading from the area.
  • Pus draining from the area.
  • A fever.

Pain in adults and older children

  • Severe pain (8 to 10): The pain is so bad that you can’t stand it for more than a few hours, can’t sleep, and can’t do anything else except focus on the pain.
  • Moderate pain (5 to 7): The pain is bad enough to disrupt your normal activities and your sleep, but you can tolerate it for hours or days. Moderate can also mean pain that comes and goes even if it’s severe when it’s there.
  • Mild pain (1 to 4): You notice the pain, but it is not bad enough to disrupt your sleep or activities.

Pain in children under 3 years

It can be hard to tell how much pain a baby or toddler is in.

  • Severe pain (8 to 10): The pain is so bad that the baby cannot sleep, cannot get comfortable, and cries constantly no matter what you do. The baby may kick, make fists, or grimace.
  • Moderate pain (5 to 7): The baby is very fussy, clings to you a lot, and may have trouble sleeping but responds when you try to comfort him or her.
  • Mild pain (1 to 4): The baby is a little fussy and clings to you a little but responds when you try to comfort him or her.

Certain health conditions and medicines weaken the immune system’s ability to fight off infection and illness. Some examples in adults are:

  • Diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and HIV/AIDS.
  • Long-term alcohol and drug problems.
  • Steroid medicines, which may be used to treat a variety of conditions.
  • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer.
  • Other medicines used to treat autoimmune disease.
  • Medicines taken after organ transplant.
  • Not having a spleen.

With severe bleeding, any of these may be true:

  • Blood is pumping from the wound.
  • The bleeding does not stop or slow down with pressure.
  • Blood is quickly soaking through bandage after bandage.

With moderate bleeding, any of these may be true:

  • The bleeding slows or stops with pressure but starts again if you remove the pressure.
  • The blood may soak through a few bandages, but it is not fast or out of control.

With mild bleeding, any of these may be true:

  • The bleeding stops on its own or with pressure.
  • The bleeding stops or slows to an ooze or trickle after 15 minutes of pressure. It may ooze or trickle for up to 45 minutes.

You may need a tetanus shot depending on how dirty the wound is and how long it has been since your last shot.

    • For a deep or dirty wound that has things like dirt, saliva, or feces in it, you may need a shot if:
      • You haven’t had a tetanus shot in the past 5 years.
      • You don’t know when your last shot was.
      • You have not received 3 doses of the tetanus vaccine series.
    • For a clean wound, you may need a shot if:
      • You have not had a tetanus shot in the past 10 years.
      • You don’t know when your last shot was.
      • You have not received 3 doses of the tetanus vaccine series.

Symptoms of difficulty breathing can range from mild to severe. For example:

  • You may feel a little out of breath but still be able to talk (mild difficulty breathing), or you may be so out of breath that you cannot talk at all (severe difficulty breathing).
  • It may be getting hard to breathe with activity (mild difficulty breathing), or you may have to work very hard to breathe even when you’re at rest (severe difficulty breathing).

Seek Care Today

Based on your answers, you may need care soon. The problem probably will not get better without medical care.

  • Call your doctor today to discuss the symptoms and arrange for care.
  • If you cannot reach your doctor or you don’t have one, seek care today.
  • If it is evening, watch the symptoms and seek care in the morning.
  • If the symptoms get worse, seek care sooner.

Seek Care Now

Based on your answers, you may need care right away. The problem is likely to get worse without medical care.

  • Call your doctor now to discuss the symptoms and arrange for care.
  • If you cannot reach your doctor or you don’t have one, seek care in the next hour.
  • You do not need to call an ambulance unless:
    • You cannot travel safely either by driving yourself or by having someone else drive you.
    • You are in an area where heavy traffic or other problems may slow you down.

Call 911 Now

Based on your answers, you need emergency care.

Call 911 or other emergency services now.

Sometimes people don’t want to call 911. They may think that their symptoms aren’t serious or that they can just get someone else to drive them. But based on your answers, the safest and quickest way for you to get the care you need is to call 911 for medical transport to the hospital.

Call 911 Now

Based on your answers, you need emergency care.

Call 911 or other emergency services now.

Put direct, steady pressure on the wound until help arrives. Keep the area raised if you can.

Sometimes people don’t want to call 911. They may think that their symptoms aren’t serious or that they can just get someone else to drive them. But based on your answers, the safest and quickest way for you to get the care you need is to call 911 for medical transport to the hospital.

Eye Injuries

Fish Hook Injuries

Venomous Snake Bites: Symptoms & First Aid | NIOSH

Symptoms and First Aid


Signs or symptoms of a snake bite may vary depending on the type of snake, but may include:

  • Puncture marks at the wound
  • Redness, swelling, bruising, bleeding, or blistering around the bite
  • Severe pain and tenderness at the site of the bite
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Labored breathing (in extreme cases, breathing may stop altogether)
  • Rapid heart rate, weak pulse, low blood pressure
  • Disturbed vision
  • Metallic, mint, or rubber taste in the mouth
  • Increased salivation and sweating
  • Numbness or tingling around face and/or limbs
  • Muscle twitching
Signs of Snake Bite

Photos courtesy of Sean P. Bush.

First Aid

Workers should take these steps if a snake bites them:

  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible (dial 911 or call local Emergency Medical Services [EMS]).
    • Antivenom is the treatment for serious snake envenomation. The sooner antivenom can be started, the sooner irreversible damage from venom can be stopped.
    • Driving oneself to the hospital is not advised because people with snakebites can become dizzy or pass out.
  • Take a photograph of the snake from a safe distance if possible. Identifying the snake can help with treatment of the snakebite.
  • Keep calm.
  • Inform your supervisor.
  • Apply first aid while waiting for EMS staff to get you to the hospital.
    • Lay or sit down with the bite in a neutral position of comfort.
    • Remove rings and watches before swelling starts.
    • Wash the bite with soap and water.
    • Cover the bite with a clean, dry dressing.
    • Mark the leading edge of tenderness/swelling on the skin and write the time alongside it.

Do NOT do any of the following:

  • Do not pick up the snake or try to trap it. NEVER handle a venomous snake, not even a dead one or its decapitated head.
  • Do not wait for symptoms to appear if bitten, get medical help right away.
  • Do not apply a tourniquet.
  • Do not slash the wound with a knife or cut it in any way.
  • Do not try to suck out the venom.
  • Do not apply ice or immerse the wound in water.
  • Do not drink alcohol as a painkiller.
  • Do not take pain relievers (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen).
  • Do not apply electric shock or folk therapies.

Insect Stings | Johns Hopkins Medicine

The danger of insect stings

The 2 greatest risks from most insect stings are allergic reaction (which can be fatal in some people) and infection (more common and less serious).

Bees, wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets belong to a class of insects called Hymenoptera. Most insect stings cause only minor discomfort. Stings can happen anywhere on the body and can be painful and frightening. Most stings are from honey bees or yellow jackets. Fire ants, usually found in southern states, can sting multiple times. The sites of the stings are more likely to become infected.

What are the symptoms of an insect sting?

The following are the most common symptoms of insect stings. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Local reactions at the site, including:

    • Pain

    • Swelling

    • Redness

    • Itching

    • Warmth

    • Hives

  • Serious symptoms that indicate the possibly of a life-threatening allergic reaction, include:

    • Coughing

    • Tickling in the throat

    • Tightness in the throat or chest

    • Breathing problems or wheezing

    • Nausea or vomiting

    • Dizziness or fainting

    • Sweating

    • Anxiety

    • Hives over a large part of the body

What is the treatment for insect stings?

Large, local reactions do not usually lead to more serious generalized reactions. However, they can be life-threatening if the sting happens in the mouth, nose, or throat area. Swelling in these areas can cause breathing difficulties.

Treatment for local skin reactions may include the following:

  • Remove the stinger by gently scraping across the site with a blunt-edged object, such as a credit card, a dull knife, or a fingernail. Do not try to pull it out, as this may release more venom.

  • Wash the area well with soap and water.

  • Apply a cold or ice pack wrapped in a thin cloth to help reduce swelling and pain (10 minutes on and 10 minutes off for a total of 30 to 60 minutes).

  • If the sting happens on an arm or leg, keep the arm or leg raised to help reduce swelling.

  • To help reduce the pain and itching, consider the following:

    • Apply a paste of baking soda and water and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes.

    • Apply a paste of nonseasoned meat tenderizer and water and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes.

    • Apply a wet tea bag and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes.

    • Use an over-the-counter product made for insect stings.

    • Apply an antihistamine or corticosteroid cream or calamine lotion.

    • Give acetaminophen for pain.

    • Give an over-the-counter antihistamine, if approved by your healthcare provider.

    • Watch the person closely for the next hour for more serious symptoms.

Call 911 or your local emergency medical service (EMS) for immediate care if the sting was in the mouth, nose, or throat area, or if any other serious symptoms happen.

Emergency medical treatment may include the following:

Preventing insect stings

To reduce the possibility of insect stings while outdoors, try the following:

  • Avoid using perfumes, hair products, and other scented items.

  • Avoid brightly colored clothing.

  • Do not go outside barefoot. Avoid wearing sandals in the grass.

  • Use insect repellent.

  • Avoid locations where hives and nests are present. Have the nests removed by professionals.

  • If an insect comes near, stay calm and walk away slowly.

If you have a known or suspected allergy to stings, you should:

  • Carry a bee sting kit (such as EpiPen) at all times and know how to use it. These products are available by prescription.

  • Wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace with your allergy information.

  • Wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants when outdoors.

  • Talk with your healthcare provider about seeing an allergist for allergy testing and treatment.

3 Steps to Take Immediately After a Bee Sting

What’s the best way to treat a bee or wasp sting? It seems every family has their own secret remedy. From meat tenderizer or tobacco juice to vinegar or baking soda, there’s no shortage of “cures” out there and people who swear by them.

In reality, these home remedies have no real scientific or medical basis. While most aren’t necessarily dangerous, they also aren’t particularly effective. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing individuals and parents can do after a bee or wasp sting. Taking the right steps can minimize the typical pain, redness, swelling, and itching that most people suffer after a sting. For people with a severe allergic reaction, the right response could save their life.

For most people, a sting won’t cause more than pain, swelling, and redness right around the sting—what’s known as a local reaction. 

However, a small percentage of people are allergic to insect stings and suffer a much more severe and dangerous reaction, known as a generalized reaction. Stings in these people may cause anaphylaxis and can be fatal. In fact, between 60 to 70 people in the U.S. die every year as a result of allergic reactions to stings, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tens of thousands more have very serious reactions that aren’t fatal.

Next time you or a child receives a nasty sting, look for signs of a generalized allergic reaction.

Signs of a generalized allergic reaction

Symptoms usually develop very quickly and may include

  • A feeling of uneasiness, tingling sensations, and dizziness.
  • Generalized itching and hives
  • Swelling of the lips and tongue
  • Wheezing and difficulty breathing
  • Collapse and loss of consciousness

Anyone who has any of these symptoms should go to the emergency department immediately.

People who had a generalized allergic response in the past will very likely have one again after another sting. However, sometimes people who never had an allergic reaction on previous stings have a generalized allergic reaction to their next sting. Fortunately, this first reaction is less likely to be one of the fatal ones.

People who know they’re allergic should always have access to an epinephrine auto-injector. An auto-injector is a portable device that injects you when you push it against your skin—you don’t have to know how to “give a shot.” Epinephrine (adrenaline) is a drug that treats allergic reactions and can be life-saving. Use the auto-injector at the first sign of an allergic reaction. 

Patients and parents should note—a more severe local reaction (greater pain or more extreme swelling) is not an indicator of increased risk for a generalized reaction, nor is receiving multiple stings.

If there’s no sign of a generalized allergic reaction, follow these 3 steps

Up to 1 million people go to the Emergency Department for bee stings every year. Most of these visits are for local reactions that you can treat at home by following these steps.

1. Remove the stinger with a dull-edged object

Bee stings and wasp stings are relatively similar, with one big exception. After a sting, honeybees leave a barbed stinger behind (and the honeybee dies). Wasps, on the other hand, have a smooth stinger that can sting multiple times without becoming detached from the insect.  

Following a honeybee sting, the stinger should be removed as quickly as possible. In many cases, the bee also leaves behind the venom sack, which continues to pump venom as long as it stays intact. So the sooner you can remove it and the stinger, the sooner you can stop the flow of toxins.

A blunt object such as a credit card or butter knife gently scraped across the affected area is the best way to get rid of the stinger. Avoid using tweezers or anything else that could puncture or squeeze the venom sack and make symptoms worse.

2. Apply a cool compress

Once the stinger is out, a cool compress can help alleviate pain (just don’t dunk the whole area in ice). An antihistamine taken orally or applied as a cream can help alleviate itching and swelling.

3. Elevate the area

Depending on the location of the sting, elevating the area can also reduce swelling.

The level of swelling caused by a sting can often be startling. In fact, a sting on the hand can result in the hand swelling up to twice the normal size. This swelling, along with the area feeling warm and tender, can sometimes be confused for infection—also known as cellulitis. Individuals and parents should know it’s rare for infection to develop after a sting, especially within the first few days. The swelling caused by a local reaction may decrease within a few hours, but it can take a few days to fully resolve.

Keys to preventing stings

The best way to avoid complications from a sting is to avoid being stung in the first place. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you know you or your child will be outside and around bees or wasps.

  • Avoid wearing bright colors, scented perfume, or hair sprays.
  • Remember bees and wasps are social creatures. They only sting humans to protect their hive. The old rule of thumb is true—if you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you.
  • Bees and wasps are pretty slow fliers—most people can get away from them just by walking quickly.

Blood Test: Lead (for Parents)

What Is a Blood Test?

A blood test is when a sample of blood is taken from the body to be tested in a lab. Doctors order blood tests to check things such as the levels of glucose, hemoglobin, or white blood cells. This can help them detect problems like a disease or medical condition. Sometimes, blood tests can help them see how well an organ (such as the liver or kidneys) is working.

What Is a Lead Test?

A lead test measures how much lead is in the blood. Lead is a metal that is found in the environment and in many consumer products. Most people have a small amount of lead in their blood from these exposures.

But higher levels of lead can lead to problems in children, such as learning disabilities, behavior problems, and anemia. Very high levels can cause serious problems, such as seizures or a coma.

Why Are Lead Tests Done?

A lead test may be done if a child is at risk for a high lead level. For example, kids who live in older homes or in communities with many older homes are at risk for high lead levels.

How Should We Prepare for a Lead Test?

Your child should be able to eat and drink normally unless also getting other tests that require fasting beforehand. Tell your doctor about any medicines your child takes because some drugs might affect the test results.

Wearing a T-shirt or short-sleeved shirt for the test can make things easier for your child, and you also can bring along a toy or book as a distraction.

How Is a Lead Test Done?

Most blood tests take a small amount of blood from a vein. To do that, a health professional will:

  • clean the skin 
  • put an elastic band (tourniquet) above the area to get the veins to swell with blood
  • insert a needle into a vein (usually in the arm inside of the elbow or on the back of the hand) 
  • pull the blood sample into a vial or syringe
  • take off the elastic band and remove the needle from the vein

Lead is sometimes tested with a “fingerstick” test. The health professional will clean your child’s finger, then prick the tip of it with a tiny needle (or lancet) to collect the blood.

In babies, blood draws are sometimes done as a “heel stick collection.” After cleaning the area, the health professional will prick your baby’s heel with a tiny needle (or lancet) to collect a small sample of blood.

Collecting a sample of blood is only temporarily uncomfortable and can feel like a quick pinprick.


Can I Stay With My Child During a Lead Test?

Parents usually can stay with their child during a blood test. Encourage your child to relax and stay still because tensing muscles can make it harder to draw blood. Your child might want to look away when the needle is inserted and the blood is collected. Help your child to relax by taking slow deep breaths or singing a favorite song.

How Long Does a Lead Test Take?

Most blood tests take just a few minutes. Occasionally, it can be hard to find a vein, so the health professional may need to try more than once.

What Happens After a Lead Test?

The health professional will remove the elastic band and the needle and cover the area with cotton or a bandage to stop the bleeding. Afterward, there may be some mild bruising, which should go away in a few days.

When Are Lead Test Results Ready?

Blood samples are processed by a machine, and it may take a few hours to a day for the results to be available. If the test results show signs of a problem, the doctor might order other tests to figure out what the problem is and how to treat it.

Are There Any Risks From Lead Tests?

A lead test is a safe procedure with minimal risks. Some kids might feel faint or lightheaded from the test. A few kids and teens have a strong fear of needles. If your child is anxious, talk with the doctor before the test about ways to make the procedure easier.

A small bruise or mild soreness around the blood test site is common and can last for a few days. Get medical care for your child if the discomfort gets worse or lasts longer.

If you have questions about the lead test, speak with your doctor or the health professional doing the blood draw.

10 cures for a spider bite – Organic Select Blog

Post Views:

Clip and save..

The wet weather will bring them out of the woodwork..

It happened that my sweet, pretty, super white skinned niece was bitten by a spider while sleeping in our adobe house in San Sebastian.

That set us on a cure for the swelling and itching that followed.

Hey…they are around and can be identified by those two fang marks they leave.

Here are the top 10 home remedies for spider bites.

1. Ice Pack

When bitten by a spider, the first thing you need to do is clean the wound with mild soap and water. Then, apply an ice pack on the affected area. The cold temperature will help numb the nerve endings, soothe the itching sensation and reduce swelling and inflammation.

  • Wrap a few ice cubes in a thin towel and place it on the affected area for 10 minutes at a time. Repeat as needed during the initial 24 hours.
  • You can also put the affected area under cool running water for a few minutes.

Note: Never put ice directly on the skin.

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda alkaline substance can help draw out the venom, which will help reduce pain, itching and inflammation.

  1. Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 3 teaspoons of water.
  2. With the help of a cotton ball, apply this mixture on the affected area for 5 minutes.
  3. Wash the area with lukewarm water.
  4. If the discomfort persists, repeat after a few hours.

3. Salt

Salt can effectively draw the venom out of a spider bite to promote quick recovery. In addition, it reduces inflammation and redness.

  1. Wash the affected area thoroughly with lukewarm water.
  2. Sprinkle some table salt on a wet washcloth. (You can also use kosher or sea salt.)
  3. Bandage this washcloth to the affected part for a couple of hours, then remove it.
  4. Reapply as needed.


4. Potatoes

Potatoes can bring down the itching and inflammation, largely due to its anti-irritating and soothing properties. In addition, it keeps the affected area moisturized to encourage quick healing.

  1. Peel 1 large potato and wash it thoroughly.
  2. Grate the potato using a grater.
  3. Put a handful of the wet potato shreds into a piece of thin cloth and tie it securely.
  4. Clean the affected area with rubbing alcohol, then put the potato poultice on it.
  5. Leave it until the potato begins to dry.
  6. Discard the old potato poultice, and clean the area with warm water.
  7. Reapply a fresh poultice, repeating until the symptoms are gone.

6. Aspirin

can neutralize the venom to promote quick recovery. In addition, its strong anti-inflammatory properties can effectively control swelling and inflammation.

  1. Soak 1 to 2 aspirin tablets in a little water to form a paste.
  2. Apply this paste on the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for a couple of hours, then wash it off with lukewarm water.
  4. Repeat 1 or 2 more times, if needed..

7.Turmeric Powder

Is a natural painkiller containing anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant properties. It can promote recovery by reducing pain, swelling and inflammation.

Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder with enough olive oil to form a paste. Apply this paste on the affected area. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.

Alternatively, mix 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder, a handful of thoroughly washed Indian lilac (neem) leaves and a little water in a blender to make a thick paste. Apply it on the affected area, leave it on for 20 minutes and then rinse it off with warm water.

Repeat either of these remedies a few times.

  1. Lime Juice

Use lemon juice to keep itching, swelling and inflammation at bay. Being a natural astringent, it also helps quickly dry out skin rashes caused by spider bites as well as prevent infection.

Use juice from a fresh lemon and apply it on the affected area using a cotton ball. Let it dry, then rinse it off with lukewarm water.

  • Alternatively, you can take a piece of lemon and rub it against the affected area for 2 to 3 minutes. Wait another 5 minutes, then rinse it off. (local favorite)


9. Aloe Vera

. This gel has natural antiseptic as well as anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that can help reduce pain, swelling and itching. It can even aid in faster healing by keeping the affected area moisturized.

  1. Thoroughly wash an aloe vera leaf.
  2. Slit it open to extract the gel.
  3. Apply this fresh gel on the affected area.
  4. Reapply a few times a day for a few days.

Note: Store the remaining gel in the refrigerator.

Its easy to find as most neighbors have some in the garden


Additional Tips

  • Monitor the bite for a couple of days to keep a check on how well the symptoms are healing.
  • Try to memorize the appearance of the spider that has bitten you. This will help in the treatment plan.
  • To prevent spider bites, wear a long-sleeve shirt and pants, a hat, gloves and boots when handling stored boxes or firewood.
  • Be extra careful when cleaning out sheds, garages, basements, attics and crawl spaces.
  • Inspect and shake out gardening tools that are not in use for a while.
  • Keep spiders out of the house by installing tight-fitting screens on windows and door

Repeat either of these remedies a few times.


90,000 What if stung by a bee or a wasp?

In the hot summer season, when everything is blooming and fragrant around, you can see many insects, among which wasps and bees are often found.

Their “bites” are quite painful and can cause severe allergic reactions. Therefore, if you or another person is stung, action should be taken immediately.

Why are stinging insects dangerous?

It should be noted that the danger is not the “bite” itself, but the poison that a bee or wasp injects through the sting located at the end of the abdomen.The sting is intended for defense and attack, therefore it is not recommended to try to catch or “tease” the insect, as well as to make sudden movements near the hive.

For some people, poison can be deadly, as it contains a mixture of special proteins that are rejected by the human body. An allergy to a bite can manifest itself as headache, hives, aching joints, severe swelling of the face and neck, dizziness, fever, convulsions, in severe cases, a person loses consciousness.With an increased sensitivity to poison, an allergic reaction can lead to such dire consequences as anaphylactic shock or Quincke’s edema.

For people without allergies, the “bite” is not dangerous. A person usually feels a short-term burning sensation and a slight swelling develops around the “bite” site, which subsides within a few days.

But if we are talking about multiple bites, then the health of any person is at risk, because a large amount of poison enters the blood at a time, which can lead to severe poisoning of the body: fever, vomiting, chills and pain throughout the body.In some cases, multiple bites can be fatal.

First aid for a bee or wasp sting

To prevent serious consequences, help in case of an allergic reaction to a stinging insect sting should be provided as early as possible.

The sequence of actions is as follows:

1. Inspect the bite site: if there is a sting there, remove it. It is recommended to work with tweezers to avoid infection. You should not try to squeeze out the sting with your fingers, as a little poison may still remain in it, which will also get into the wound and worsen the victim’s condition.

2. Apply a cotton swab moistened with an antiseptic to the bite site. If not, then you can use water and salt.

3. Apply cold to the damaged area to reduce pain and swelling.

4. Provide a person with plenty of drink.

5. Give any antihistamine (Claritin, Suprastin, Zodak, Tavegil, etc.).

6. In case of symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, urgently call an ambulance or take the victim to a hospital.

Be sure to seek medical attention if an insect bite hits the inside of your mouth, throat, or eyeball, or if you have previously experienced allergic reactions to insect bites.

Antihistamines have contraindications. It is recommended to consult a specialist before use.

90,000 Wasp sting: consequences and first aid

Acute pain and swelling are not the only consequences of a wasp sting; it can also be deadly.

All articles

Abramova Natalya Nikolaevna

Head of the department of allergology-immunology, doctor allergist-immunologist

Have you noticed that there are many wasps? They are especially active in August. The sting of this insect is smooth, so it is able to bite several times in a row (unlike a bee, whose sting has jagged edges).

Acute pain and swelling are not the only consequences of a wasp sting; it can also be deadly.

Symptoms of a dangerous condition look like this:

  • severe edema that increases rapidly (especially the area of ​​the eyes, mouth, mouth, larynx)
  • severe swelling and pain at the site of the bite

  • abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting

  • wheezing, difficulty breathing, a feeling of constriction behind the breastbone

  • unstable pulse (fast or slow)

  • dizziness

  • loss of consciousness

What to do:

  1. If a sting remains, remove it with tweezers or the like.Just do not squeeze out the sting so that even more poison does not enter the body.

  2. Treat the wound with an antiseptic or, better, vinegar.

  3. Take an antihistamine.

  4. Apply ice to relieve swelling and pain.

  5. To get rid of itching, apply an anti-inflammatory cream (Lokoid, Advantan, Elokom) to the bite site, in the absence of it – gruel from baking soda and water in a 2: 1 ratio.

  6. It is necessary to drink as much water as possible in order to remove the poison from the body.

  7. Go to the nearest medical center.

By the way, the place where the wasp bit you must be left. Since, when bitten by a wasp, it secretes a special enzyme that attracts other individuals.

Bites to the face and neck are especially dangerous – they can lead to swelling of the tongue and larynx.

Allergy sufferers should always be on the lookout and carry a first aid kit with an allergy kit containing adrenaline. It could save your life!

Rules for help with bee stings

Despite all the benefits that wasps and bees bring to humans, they are a direct source of mortal danger. Just 1 bite of these insects can provoke both swelling and severe pain, as well as an unpredictable fatal allergic reaction.We show you how to deal with wasp and bee stings
on one’s own.

What if stung by a bee?

Any insect bite – wasp, bee, bumblebee or hornet provokes severe pain, redness and swelling in the area of ​​the bite. If bitten by a bee, it is even more painful, because there is still a sting in the wound, causing severe discomfort.

What to do if you are bitten by a wasp or bee? First of all, you need to remove the sting from the wound yourself – not with your hands, but with disinfected tweezers.The sting, remaining in the wound, continues to involuntarily deepen into it and release toxins. It is important to find it as soon as possible. Why can’t you squeeze it out with your fingers? So you will only accelerate the ingress of poison into the bloodstream, worsen the general condition of the victim. Bee venom intensifies the body’s allergic reaction to toxins, so you need to remove it from the wound first.

After you have successfully removed the sting, the stung area should be rinsed under cold water and treated with antiseptics.After that, apply a cotton swab or a small piece of gauze to the affected skin area – it must be moistened with a solution of hydrogen peroxide, potassium permanganate, alcohol or saline solution. So you can prevent blood poisoning, speed up recovery.

To relieve the patient’s suffering, apply a cold compress to the bite in the form of a towel dipped in water or a heating pad filled with cold water. It is the cold that helps to quickly relieve swelling, reduce pain.It is recommended to lubricate the bite site with a cream or ointment based on hydrocortisone to quickly relieve skin swelling and itching.

Water is needed not only for external use. Offer the victim a plentiful drink, it will reduce the concentration of the poison in the blood, accelerate its elimination from the body. If you know for sure that the person has a tendency to develop an allergic reaction, give him a pill of any drug with an antihistamine effect. It can be diphenhydramine, claritin, suprastin, or tavegil.

Allergy develops both to a single insect bite and to multiple ones. Its main symptoms are:

  • the appearance of a red rash all over the body, which is very itchy;

  • increased heart rate in adults, children;

  • sharp aches in the joints, lower back;

  • intense headache;

  • nausea, vomiting;

  • dyspnea;

  • swelling of the neck and face;

  • a sharp rise in temperature, fever;

  • seizures;

  • fainting.

Multiple stinging insect bites are even more dangerous for humans. People are often attacked by hornets, wasps and wild bees. A simultaneous bite of more than 10 insects leads to cardiac arrest and death of the victim, if he does not receive emergency care in the hospital in time.

If symptoms of severe allergy to bee or wasp venom appear, the victim should be covered with heating pads, respiratory and cardiac activity should be maintained, and an ambulance should be called.If he has a respiratory arrest, it is necessary to independently perform heart massage and artificial respiration before the arrival of the doctors.

If a person does not have an allergic reaction to bee venom, then a slight burning sensation and quickly passing pain occurs at the site of the bite. Then the skin area turns red and swells a little, it returns to normal in 1-5 days. If you do not properly care for the bite site, an infection can get there and severe suppuration will begin. If a bee or a wasp stings on the face or eyes, the swelling will last a little longer – up to 8 days.

Traditional methods of treatment for a bee sting

With a bee sting, you can use both modern medicine and traditional methods. But they are approved for use only after the sting is completely removed from the wound.

The mother-and-stepmother’s sheet will help relieve puffiness and relieve pain from the bite – you need to apply it to the wound with the cold side. Such plant species as burdock and plantain have exactly the same effect.Validol has a good cooling effect – its tablet should be applied to the bite site as early as possible to relieve pain and reduce swelling.

The affected skin area can be disinfected with garlic or onion juice. This method is not recommended for treating the wound for children, as it is a rather painful method. Instead, you can squeeze parsley juice or dandelion juice onto the wound – it has an effective wound healing effect. Olive oil reduces irritation on the skin and relieves the unpleasant burning sensation at the site of the bite.You can relieve itching with a baking soda solution; they need to treat the wound every 20 minutes.

Oddly enough, honey can help with a bee sting – its active ingredients help neutralize toxins that are injected into the wound by the bee. It also contains amino acids that speed up the wound healing process.

Natural lavender essential oil can be used for those who have a rash at the site of the bite and it is very swollen. It is appropriate to apply coconut oil to the bandage and fix it at the site of the bite if it is severely inflamed.

Each of these types of folk remedies is effective in its own way. In emergency cases, it is worth using all possible methods to improve the condition of the victim. But first of all, you need to remove the sting from the wound in order to stop the process of intoxication of the body.

When is going to the doctor a matter of life and death?

If one organism reacts poorly to bee venom, then in another person it provokes a severe allergic reaction.Seeking emergency medical care is necessary in such cases:

  • with visual intensification of the infection;

  • if a person has been bitten by more than 10-20 insects at a time;

  • if you have a history of allergy to a wasp or bee sting;

  • with a sharp increase in temperature and increased swelling at the site of the bite;

  • with convulsions, vomiting, loss of consciousness;

  • if an insect enters the mouth, larynx, or stings the face near the eyeball.

Please note that the less time has passed from the moment of the insect bite to the onset of the allergic reaction, the more serious the situation becomes. Usually, the body reacts to bee or wasp venom from a few minutes to 1 hour. Signs that directly threaten a person’s life are:

  • swelling of the upper respiratory tract;

  • colic;

  • grayish tint of the skin;

  • severe and frequent cramps.

It is pulmonary and laryngeal edema that is considered one of the most common causes of death from insect bites. Sometimes doctors simply do not have time to provide assistance in the hospital.

Useful tips for those who have been bitten by a


To recover as quickly as possible from an insect bite, to avoid infection and various types of complications, follow our recommendations.

Until the sting is removed from the wound, do not begin any manipulation of washing or treating the affected area.Otherwise, you will only aggravate the condition of the damaged skin area. In no case should you scratch the bite site, rub it intensively, press on the wound in order to remove the sting – so the poison will spread even faster throughout the body. These manipulations are especially dangerous with young children who have been stung by wasps, bees, hornets.

You can only wash the wound with clean bottled water or tap water. For this purpose, water from a river or pond is not suitable – it contains many bacteria and pathogenic microorganisms.

Cooling the skin around the stung should not be done with stones or rusty metal objects. This increases your risk of getting tetanus infection.

It is forbidden to warm the bite area with compresses. Such a technique will only increase the swelling and increase the painful sensations when pressing on the skin. Also, do not consume alcoholic beverages in order to dull the discomfort. The body is already trying to overcome the toxins that have entered the bloodstream.Why increase their concentration further?

If you have not been bitten by an insect, but you are often near them in their natural environment, remember a few useful recommendations. Do not try to brush off wasps or bees with your hands – they may regard your defense as an attack. Using perfume with a sweet scent unconsciously attracts stinging insects to you – be especially careful with them in summer.

If you do not tolerate bee venom, take antihistamines with you on vacation.This way you can be sure that nothing bad will happen to you if the insect accidentally stings you.

Experts told how to relieve swelling and itching from a sting of a bee, wasp, bumblebee or tick

All insects, which people encounter with bites, have peculiarities, the nature of their bites and reactions differ.

For example, bees do not like strong smells of perfume or alcohol – they can attract their attention. A bee sting can be dangerous and cause an allergic reaction.After a bite, the sting remains in the human body, it must be removed as soon as possible, because while it is at the site of the bite, the poison continues to be released. The bite site can be cooled with an ice compress to reduce swelling, anoint with a local antihistamine. Antihistamines of a wider spectrum are taken with severe swelling of the bite site.

The wasp sting is painful, accompanied by swelling and burning. The bite of one or more wasps does not pose a serious danger – the simultaneous bite of several hundred wasps can be fatal to humans.However, there are 1-2% of people with an allergic reaction to the bite, in which case an emergency call for an ambulance is necessary.

A hornet, unlike a bee, can take out its sting – therefore, it can sting not once, but several times in a row, introducing an increasing amount of poison into the body. This is especially dangerous, because the allergic reaction intensifies with each subsequent bite. Redness appears at the site of the bite, often accompanied by weakness, an attack of nausea or vomiting, a sharp jump in temperature or a headache.

Ticks are much less mobile than bees and wasps. While waiting for the victim, the tick is on the bush, after which it clings like a burdock. Once on a person, the tick crawls up until it reaches the skin. It can take 12 or more hours from the moment it is attached to the clothes to the bite. Clothing and repellents can be used as a means of protection.

If the tick has reached the skin, then you can try to pull it out by tying it with a strong thread closer to the proboscis. In no case should you put pressure on an insect, if it is a carrier of infection, even more poisonous saliva will enter the bloodstream.The wound needs to be treated with iodine, brilliant green or chlorhexidine. The most reliable remedy for tick-borne encephalitis and borreliosis is vaccination.

Folk remedy for snakebite – another myth?

  • Claudia Hammond
  • BBC Future

Photo author, Thinkstock

Is the popular belief that urinating on the site of a snake bite can neutralize the effect of the poison fair? Correspondent

BBC Future found out what is folklore here and what is true.

Fans of the American sitcom Friends will no doubt remember The Jellyfish Episode, in which one of the main characters, Monica, was stung by this sea animal during a trip to the beach.

Another character in the series, a loving actor without an engagement, Joey recalls a show he saw on the Discovery Channel. It said that urine helps with poisonous burns and bites, and Joey, as a faithful friend, offers his services to Monica – he is ready to urinate on the burn.

Unfortunately, Joey is seized by a sudden “stage fright” and he is unable to squeeze a drop out of himself. The honor of performing this heroic deed will fall to Chandler, Monica’s future husband. ( Based on the film, Monica was relieved after that – translator’s note).

The case of Monica and the jellyfish burn is not unique. It is not uncommon to hear that urine helps with snake bites. Indeed, listeners of the BBC World Service from Cameroon, Sri Lanka and Burma (Myanmar) have repeatedly asked me if this is true.

Before I go into further analysis of this myth, here are a few quick facts and figures regarding snakebites.

Snakes sting at least five million people every year. Many such cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia.

The good news is that only a small minority of these bites are fatal. The bad news is that 125,000 people die from snakebites every year, half of them in India.

The best tactic is to avoid snakes

This may seem obvious to the banality, but the most important advice given by reptile and amphibian experts (aka herpetologists) is to avoid bites in the first place.

Do not touch snakes if you see them, wear long trousers and sturdy boots or boots when going to places where snakes are common.

Shake your shoes vigorously before putting on if the snake could theoretically crawl in there.

But, even in spite of all these precautions, an accidental meeting with a snake cannot be completely ruled out.

A few years ago in Costa Rica, I was shown poisonous ciliated vipers that camouflage themselves perfectly, wriggling among the yellow and red flowers of the tropical grass of Heliconia.

These flowers are so beautiful that people who first saw them touch them with their hands in admiration and sometimes, to their horror, find themselves holding a poisonous snake.

If you do get stung by a snake, do you need to urinate on the bite site? The simple answer is no!

It will be a waste of precious time, which can be more usefully used to get to the nearest hospital and get the antidote.

Urine does not help with snakebites. It contains urea, which softens the skin and is found in many creams, such as those that help heal cracked heels.

Urea is also an antiseptic, which is why some people find it useful and use it in baths to treat leg ulcers.

However, these beneficial properties are not enough to neutralize the toxins contained in snake venom.

So urine doesn’t work. But what about other folk remedies, say, sucking poison from a wound or pulling an arm or leg with a tourniquet made from a strip of fabric torn from your own skirt to stop the spread of poison?

Unfortunately, sucking the poison will also not work, since you are unlikely to be able to suck it out completely before it spreads throughout the body.

Even attempting to cut out the bite with a knife can cause profuse bleeding, as the venom could already lead to a decrease in normal blood coagulation.

Previously recommended tourniquets can damage the tissue surrounding the bite. However, it is worth delicately immobilizing the injured limb with a splint or splint, in much the same way as it is done with fractures, because the less the arm or leg moves, the slower the poison spreads.

Leave the snake alone!

Do not expose yourself to additional risks and do not waste time trying to kill the snake in order to bring its corpse to the hospital for identification.

Better try to remember some characteristic external signs that will allow doctors to determine whether the snake that bit you was poisonous.

What markings, such as spots, have you noticed? What was the shape of the eyes? Have you seen the fangs? What shape was the head? Was there a groove between the eyes and nose?

If the snake is dead, you can take it with you, but do not touch its head. Even when dead, she can reflexively bite you.

It will be best if you take pictures of the snake with your cell phone camera.

There is one person who is determined to reduce the death rate from snakebites in India. This is Dr. Ian Simpson, a British herpetologist who has worked for the World Health Organization (WHO) and was involved in the development of India’s first nationwide snakebite management protocol.

The simple idea was to provide antidotes to rural areas, as the main cause of death is people who do not make it to the hospital in time.

Simpson is disheartened by the number of people he meets who seek help from local folk healers instead of immediately going to the hospital.

Many gradually recover from the effects of bites, having visited a healer before. But, according to Dr. Simpson, this is mainly because most bites are not actually venomous.

A biologist in Costa Rica gave me another important piece of advice on how to deal with a snakebite.

The poison spreads throughout the body through the circulatory system. Therefore, the lower the heart rate, the slower the poison will spread through your body.

His advice was to remain completely calm on the way to the hospital so that your heart does not pound like a maddened heart, even though you know the bite can be fatal.

As for jellyfish burns, wetting with salt water or vinegar can help. Fresh water will make them more painful, and urine will have no effect.

So, Monica, horrible as it may seem, I have to tell the cruel truth: Joey and Chandler shouldn’t have worried and urinated on you.

Memo for snake bites


Over the past few years, due to changes in climatic conditions in the region, the number of snake populations has increased, and accordingly, the number of victims of their bites is also growing. Every year, medical assistance is provided to 5-25 victims.However, no deaths were recorded for the period from 2007 to 2017.

Before the beginning of the summer spring-summer season, the department monitors the availability of anti-snake serum in the regional medical institutions. At the moment, medical institutions of the region have a stock of at least 1 – 2 doses of serum against the venom of the common viper – the only species of poisonous snakes inhabiting the region.

Provision of emergency specialized medical care, except for specialized toxicological centers in Voronezh (for adults – BUZ VO “Voronezh Regional Clinical Hospital No. 1”, for children – BUZ HE “Voronezh Regional Children’s Clinical Hospital No. 1”) can be carried out in regional hospitals …


Any unfamiliar snake should be considered obviously poisonous, but it is advisable to study the signs of harmless and poisonous snakes before going out into nature. For example, it is distinguished by two bright yellow spots in the temporal region of the head. On the territory of the Voronezh region, the only species of poisonous snakes lives, this is the common viper. The snake has a vertical pupil, like a cat’s, gray coloration with a dark zigzag stripe along the back and scaly scutes on the head.

The viper prefers to settle in the forests – in the meadows near water bodies.It hides in the holes of various animals, in rotten stumps and between the roots of trees. She loves to bask in the warm rays of the sun, and therefore can often be found on small forest lawns. It happens that at night, wanting to warm up, a viper can crawl to a campfire or, even worse, climb into a tent or sleeping bag. Therefore, getting out into nature, you need to be careful and always lock the tent.

Do not attempt to catch or play with snakes, even if they are small and outwardly lethargic.Baby snakes that have just hatched from an egg are also poisonous. Care should be taken when handling dead snakes, in some of them the poison retains its properties for a long time. An accidental injection of a poisonous tooth can cause poisoning. Do not even touch the severed head – within a few minutes it is capable of active action!

Snakes never attack without warning! If you suddenly notice a crawling snake, freeze, let it leave. If the snake is in a threatening pose, step back slowly.Avoid sudden, snake-frightening movements! You cannot, defending yourself, put your arms forward, turn your back to the snake. If you have a stick, hold it in front of you towards the snake. Do not run away from the snake you meet – you can step on another unnoticed. Remain calm in decisions, actions, gestures. Remember, a snake that you do not see is dangerous, the discovered snake does not pose a threat if you do not touch it.

First aid for a snake bite

Incorrect actions when providing help often cause more damage to health than the snake bite itself, significantly complicate the diagnosis and further treatment.

When a poisonous snake bites in the first minute, there is a slight burning sensation, numbness, redness, pain appear, which quickly spread to the entire affected limb, sometimes to the trunk. Coordination of movements is impaired (staggering gait, difficult to stand). Disorder of speech and swallowing sets in. Possible strong salivation, irresistible drowsiness. Breathing is oppressed, it becomes more rare, superficial. The body temperature rises to 38-39 °. The victim may die without help in 2-7 hours.The bite of vipers, gyurza, shitomordnik causes severe long-term pain. There is a large swelling at the site of the bite, which spreads quickly. (For example, a finger bite may cause swelling up to the shoulder.) The skin around the bite becomes reddish-bluish. After 20-40 minutes, shock phenomena occur: pallor of the skin, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, weak and frequent pulse, decreased pressure. Periodic loss of consciousness is possible. Sometimes agitation and seizures. Death can occur in 30 minutes, but sometimes in a day or more.

What to do

  • Immediately after the bite, provide the victim with complete rest in a horizontal position. If necessary, transfer the victim to a convenient, weather-protected place. Independent movement of the victim is unacceptable!
  • In the first seconds after the bite, pressing with your fingers, open the wound and begin to vigorously suck out the poison through your mouth, spitting out from time to time. If there is little saliva or there are wounds on the lips, in the mouth, a little water should be taken into the mouth (water dilutes the poison) and the suction of the poison should be carried out alternately for 15 minutes without interruption.This allows you to remove from the victim’s body from 20 to 50 percent of the poison. For the person providing assistance, sucking the poison is completely harmless, even if he has wounds or abrasions in his mouth. If the victim is alone, he must suck the poison on his own.
  • The wound should be disinfected, a sterile bandage should be applied, which should be periodically loosened as the edema develops so that it does not cut into soft tissues. To slow down the spread of the poison in the body, restrict the victim’s mobility.When biting in the leg, tie it to the healthy one and, putting something under the knees, slightly raise them. When biting into the arm, lock it in a bent position.
  • Give the victim more tea, broth, water (it is better to refuse coffee as a stimulant). Increased water consumption promotes the removal of poison from the body.
  • Try to get the victim immediately, transport him on a stretcher to the nearest medical facility. If necessary, administer prolonged artificial respiration and cardiac massage.
  • What can not be done!

  • Cut the bite crosswise or cut out the affected area. Cuts by accidental objects (knives, glass shards) lead to infections, damage to veins, tendons.
  • Cauterize the wound with objects red-hot on a fire, coal from a fire, gunpowder. The poisonous teeth of snakes reach a centimeter in length, the poison is injected deep into the muscle tissue. It is dangerous and useless to cauterize the bite site with caustic potassium, nitric, sulfuric and carbolic acids.
  • Do not apply tourniquet above the bite site.The imposition of a tourniquet on the affected limb worsens the condition of the victim, provokes gangrenous phenomena (especially with bites of gyurza, vipers), and increases the possibility of death.
  • Remember that alcohol is not an antidote, but, on the contrary, makes it difficult to remove the poison from the body, enhances its effect.

    90,000 “The snakes bit me 14 times”: how it works and for what it risks snake-catchers with half a century of experience


    We leave Moscow after dark.About two hours we drive to the Tver region, then we wind through country roads – our “Niva” jumps on bumps, chokes in puddles, kneads the spring mud with its wheels, but drives to the goal – the point that Vladislav sent the day before.

    The bank of the Volga is steep, high, overgrown with pine trees. A beautiful place. Below the dark waters the river rolls – in this place it is completely straight, without convolutions, as if its borders were drawn along a ruler.

    © Vladimir Gerdo / TASS

    “Something like this” Courchevel “will be the background if you come,” Vladislav wrote when I made an appointment with him.

    We find his camp: a large SUV parked under a pine tree, a pitched tent, folding chairs around the fire pit, metal camping utensils on a makeshift bench. There is no one in the camp. The April sun has already flooded the slope with warm light, which means that Vladislav went to catch. I call him and he asks to wait a little. Appears from behind the trees fifteen minutes later together with his wife Maral.

    They are holding large nets – white cotton sacks with a wide neck stretched over a metal ring.At the very top, the bags are twisted and thrown over the short handle of the net. Greetings. Vladislav takes out a round mesh basket from the trunk, unties the bag and dumps black and gray snakes into it.

    Vladislav and his wife travel a lot. And during the catch they live for several days in a tent and cook food on the fire

    © Vladimir Gerdo / TASS

    – Caught a lot? I ask.

    – It’s windy now, not the best weather for them. While we walked along the shore, we took a dozen. And yesterday almost a hundred in a day.

    Reason to wear a backpack

    Vladislav Starkov – scientist, employee of the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences, herpetologist and snake catchers. He is 64 years old, and in Russia he is one of the most experienced specialists in this rare profession.

    He was born and raised in Moscow, in a family where no one was associated with biology, and even more so with reptiles. But I wanted to catch snakes since childhood.

    – I first caught a viper at the age of 11, when I came on vacation to my relatives on the Don, – he recalls.- Then I did not think about how to deal with snakes, most of all dreamed of being a geologist, but then I realized that biology is also nothing. If there is a reason to carry a backpack, it suits me.

    The Viper, according to Vladislav, is just an excuse to “stretch your legs.” In different countries of the world he had to work with snakes, whose poison kills instantly

    © Vladimir Gerdo / TASS

    After school, Vladislav tried to enter the biology department at Moscow State University, but did not get enough points and went to the pedagogical, to Leninka. He received a diploma as a teacher of biology and chemistry, worked after graduation for a couple of months at the House of Pioneers and went to the Institute for Nature Conservation.

    – An acquaintance teacher invited me. He said that we would go from April to September to the Far East, to the Kuriles, to study forests, then it turned out that he had exaggerated about six months, business trips were shorter. But I still worked there for seven years.

    And then Vladislav moved to the laboratory “Protection and rational use of reptiles, amphibians and fish”. There he began to work with snakes, mastered the methods of breeding them. In the 80s he worked at the Institute for Nature Conservation of the USSR Ministry of Natural Resources, studied the natural resources of poisonous snakes in the USSR, surveyed the territories of Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Dagestan, Primorsky Territory.And I caught snakes to extract poison.

    – It was profitable to work as a snake-catcher: during the season of catching the gyurza one could earn money for a new motorcycle or even a Zhiguli, and in several seasons it was possible to pay for a cooperative apartment.

    You need to take the snake correctly, so as not to harm it, but also to protect yourself from a bite

    © Vladimir Gerdo / TASS

    The volumes of snake venom procurement were many times greater than now: the Moscow serpentarium alone caught 12 thousand vipers per season. And in total there were eight of them working in the country.Today only Novosibirsk is left.

    “This has come to naught in our country after the Soviet Union,” says Vladislav Starkov. – Serpentaria existed because there was a science that dealt with poisons, research work was carried out, poisons were introduced into medicine. All methods of keeping snakes were approved in the USSR. Further steps were needed, but at the end of the 80s our country was not up to it. The end came due to the fact that there were new laws and rules. In the USSR, snake venom was considered a raw material for hunting, a serpentarium worked as a zoo, as a hunting farm.In the 90s, a license for the production of snake venom had to be obtained from the Ministry of Health. And when the procedure became more complicated, no one wanted to do it. The poison could not be bought or sold. Serpentariums began to close. In Turkmenistan, everything was closed. And the Siberian serpentarium still works according to the Soviet canons. For them, breeding a viper is nonsense. Only catch! One and a half thousand pieces are mined per season. They are not killed – they are milked, and then, after a while, they are released into nature.


    Vladislav and his wife Maral and I are going down a steep slope to the Volga.Underfoot is last year’s withered grass, from which snow has recently melted. Small stones come across. If you do not know, you will never guess that such places are the most snake in the middle lane. We are all wearing rubber boots. Vladislav and Maral are holding nets and special long metal hooks. I carefully look at my feet in fear of stepping on the viper – after all, according to the snake catcher, there are hundreds of them. Suddenly I notice a black snake curled up in a ball on a stone to my right. It is much smaller than I expected, slightly thicker than a finger.I call Vladislav. Surprisingly, she does not crawl away when he approaches. He allows himself to be photographed, does not move. The maral picks it up with a hook and sends it to the net.

    Vladislav’s wife Maral has been helping him catch vipers for several years.

    © Vladimir Gerdo / TASS

    – Snakes, after coming out of hibernation, are still inhibited, the reaction is slowed down. This happens only at this time of the year, when the snow begins to melt, – explains Vladislav. – Much depends on the weather. Last year it was very warm already at the end of February, at the beginning of March I started fishing.At the beginning of May, snakes are at their peak of activity, and you can’t take them off like that.

    We walk along the slope for another half hour, but Vladislav finds only a few pieces – both black and gray with black zigzags on the back. The wind is getting stronger, and it starts to rain. We walk for another fifteen minutes – not a single viper.

    – That’s it, you can go and drink tea, – says the snake catcher, – in such weather they hide. It is useless to walk further here.

    We return to the camp. Vladislav takes a wooden meter out of the car, sits down on a folding chair, dumps the caught snakes into one basket – they are usually used for children’s toys – and puts another one next to it.He takes a large pair of tweezers and picks up a viper from the basket. Then he deftly intercepts it with his fingers near the head, with the other hand pulls it by the tail and applies it to the meter, like a tape. The viper is 35 centimeters long.

    Vladislav Starkov measures the length of the snake

    © Vladimir Gerdo / TASS

    – A trifle, – says Vladislav and throws her into the open net held by Maral. Takes the next thicker and longer one with tweezers.

    – Measured, measured, – says Maral even before her husband has time to attach the viper to the meter.

    Its length is 57 centimeters. The serpentarium accepts snakes from half a meter in length for milking – these standards have remained from the Soviet era. Small snakes should remain in nature and grow, and they also produce less venom.

    Vladislav measures his entire catch in two days – more than a hundred individuals. 45 of them turn out to be too small for milking, and they have to be released: Maral takes a net, goes down the slope to large boulders. He puts the net on the ground, takes it by its stitched tight corners: they are made for safety, because snakes can bite through the fabric if you take the net in another place.Maral gently shakes the vipers on the ground and says:

    – Baby! Let them grow.

    © Vladimir Gerdo / TASS

    The snakes lie almost motionless for about a minute. Maral gently nudges them with a butterfly net: “Crawl, crawl! Here, the first one went! Well, they began to disperse.”

    Several vipers crawl away from a heap of congeners, accelerate and in a second seem to dissolve among the yellow grass and old branches covering the ground. I look at them intently, I want to understand where they are crawling away, but the ability for mimicry, which nature has endowed these creatures with, is stronger than my one hundred percent vision.We leave a bunch of vipers and go to the tent.


    “The snakes have bitten me 14 times,” says Vladislav Starkov and shows his index finger, slightly beveled at the tip. – This is a trace from the gyurza. There was necrosis on the finger.

    The vipers have been in trouble too – right here on this slope.

    – My wife was getting ready to go to Moscow, she had things to do there. And I decided to take another walk. He was in a hurry, saw a snake under his foot, bent down and wanted to take it by the tail. I did not consider that it was a head, – and she tapped it.

    Maral recalls how they drove to the hospital in the nearest town, Staritsa, to administer an antidote. As I asked my husband to drink a lot to relieve a little intoxication.

    – I am a doctor and I know that a viper’s bite is very rarely fatal for an adult, so I did not panic. But until we got to the doctor, Vlad’s hand became like a pillow. They injected him with serum, put him in intensive care, the doctor says: “You will have to lie down for two days with us.” And Vlad is like: “What two days? I’m ready to lie down for two hours, that’s all.”I waited in the corridor, he came out two hours later, and we left.

    Vladislav Starkov with his wife Maral

    © Vladimir Gerdo / TASS

    Maral has known Vladislav for 35 years. She was born and raised in Ashgabat, where Starkov often came for work. Maral was friends with his first wife, also a doctor, who died in 2013 from cancer. Several years later, Maral and Vladislav went on an expedition together. I ask if she was scared, she replies: “Vlad is such a person, nothing is scary with him at all.”She did not catch snakes, but only showed where she saw them. Then she tried to catch it, and then excitement woke up in her: “The main thing for me now is not to run away when I see her.” In 2019, Maral married Vladislav. The spouse treats snakes calmly – for several months cobras lived in their home in the terrarium, which they had to temporarily take away from work.

    – Vlad bred a snow-white cobra with black eyes, amazingly beautiful! She says proudly.

    Poisonous reptiles live in the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences: Vladislav shows us on his phone a photo of cobbles hatched from eggs.The white snake really looks majestic, beautiful and defenseless, but at the same time it is just as poisonous as a dark-colored cobra. However, this is not the most poisonous one with which Vladislav had to work. Several times from the institute, he traveled in the framework of scientific cooperation to Vietnam to investigate the venom of the most dangerous snakes in the world, including the bungarus, or tape krait.

    “Baby”, which the snake catcher releases into nature: the length of these snakes is less than 50 cm.

    © Vladimir Gerdo / TASS

    – Probably no one held as many bungarus in their hands as I did, – says Vladislav.- There is not only a bite fatal, even just a scratch. In Vietnam, in rice fields, they kill people who have huts nearby. There was a case that a krait crawled into a hut, and a man was asleep. He turned and crushed him. Krayt bit, and the man died instantly, without waking up. So, catching a viper is like stretching your legs in the spring.

    Vladislav says that he never forgets about the dangers of animals that he has to work with every day.

    – Well, of course, I realize that it is dangerous when I transfer them to the terrarium, I drag them by the tails.But there were never any thoughts to give up this work.

    The value of the poison

    Vladislav shows another photo in his smartphone: a small yellowish lump. This is a frozen poison that he collected in a year. In fact, it is a substance that can now be used for research and drug preparation.

    – Whole venom is used to create serums against snakebites, because antibodies to each component of the venom are important there. But the poison can be divided into fractions, disassembled into its components and investigated how this or that component acts on the cells of the body.In the venom of a cobra, for example, there are 150 such components. Use for something useful. It’s like taking a car apart. In addition, not all components of snake venom are toxic. There is a component in the venom of the Vietnamese cobra that enhances nerve sprouting, which can be useful in medicine. Or, in the venom of the Burmese viper, a substance was found, the toxic peptide azemiopsin, which is a strong muscle relaxant, that is, it has a muscle-relaxing effect. And we have prepared and patented a cream with this peptide in the composition, which perfectly smoothes wrinkles.But no one takes it from us. Although we won competitions, and we were even included in the Skolkovo project, it didn’t come to business. We are scientists, we do not know how to sell.

    Young viper

    © Vladimir Gerdo / TASS

    Snake venoms are used to create analgesics, anticoagulants and even anticancer drugs. Vladislav Starkov believes that science still knows little about snake venoms, because they began to actively study less than a century ago, and scientists still have serious research ahead.