Australia has many of the most venomous snakes in the world. Some snake species contain sufficient venom to kill a large number of people. That being said, deaths from snake bite in Australia are uncommon due to the improvement in medical care and timely and appropriate use of snake anti-venom when required.
Which Australian Snakes Are Venomous?
There are six groups of snakes in Australia that are considered venomous. These are the brown snake, the black snake, the tiger snake, the death adder, the Taipan and sea snakes. Now none of these snakes should be taken lightly, in fact a bite from ANY snake in Australia requires urgent pressure bandage immobilisation and medical assessment in a hospital. Do not try to attempt to identify any snake as there are hundreds of species and the coloring can be misleading. For example, there are brown colored snakes that actually belong to the black snake family.
What First Aid Measures Can I Take If I Am Bitten By A Snake?
You will need to apply a pressure immobilisation bandage as shown here. After the affected limb has been bandaged and immobilised, you will need urgent transfer to an emergency department by ambulance. Do not wash the bite site, suck the bite site, or apply any chemical or any form to try and neutralize the venom. Do not apply a tourniquet, the pressure bandage should be applied as shown here. You MUST go to hospital even if you feel fine, as the symptoms of serious envenoming can be delayed in some cases.
What Can Go Wrong?
Australian snake bites should be treated seriously and as potentially life-threatening events until proven otherwise in a hospital. Some of the things that can go wrong include internal bleeding, kidney damage and failure, muscle damage, paralysis and death.