Here's What To Do If You're Bitten By A Snake

In 2015, 18-year-old Florida man Austin Hatfield came down with a nasty case of cottonmouth, courtesy of a snake bite. Per ABC, friends alleged that Hatfield kept a 4-foot-cottonmouth snake as a pet. He became so smitten with his slithery friend that he apparently couldn't resist the urge to give it a smooch. His ill-fated kiss met a venomous rebuke, no doubt sparking a blood feud between the Hatfields and the McCoils. Herpetologist Sara Viernum told Live Science, "Cottonmouth venom is composed mainly of hemotoxins that break down blood cells, preventing the blood from clotting or coagulating." It can lead to internal bleeding, tissue damage, amputation, or the afterlife. Fortunately, according to the University of Florida, a person in the U.S, is nine times more likely to die from a lightning strike than a venomous snake bite, amounting to about 5 to 6 fatalities annually. Hatfield survived despite himself. That doesn't mean you should go around trying to make out with cottonmouths. If a snake tries to give you the kiss of death, there are steps you should take to minimize the damage.

When a snake gives you a good-bite kiss

If a snake sinks its fangs into you, the resulting threat will depend on whether it's venomous and what kind of venom is flowing through you. Cedars-Sinai advises trying to remember the the size, shape, and color, which will make it easier for doctors to adopt the proper recourse. In case you have venom coursing through your veins, you ought to remain as still as you possibly can because the more you get that blood pumping, the more that venom will spread. Get someone to carry you if possible, but do not intentionally get bitten by snakes just so that people will carry your lazy asp around like a luxurious pharaoh. Everyone knows how that worked out for Cleopatra.

If your body starts to swell, quickly shed your jewelry like snake skin, lest it cut into you like snake fangs. Cover the wound with a clean cloth, and call 9-1-1. Don't delay seeking medical attention and for the love of Darwin, don't kiss a venomous snake.