Over the past month we have been sent in a number of photos and videos of adders, we wouldn’t like to say if the number of these snakes have risen but what is likely is that we have had more sightings due to the very good spring weather and they may have come out of hibernation earlier than in previous years.
In the UK adders are the only venomous snake found in the wild, with the majority of bites happening if someone accidentally steps on the snakes whilst they are out walking in the countryside. Adders usually bite in self-defence if they are disturbed on provoked, it is unlikely that they would bite otherwise.
A bite from a venomous snake is a medical emergency because it can be deadly if it isn’t treated quickly. If you do happen to spot an adder DO NOT attempt to touch or harm it (they are protected by law) and ensure that dogs and children are kept away.
If you are unfortunate enough to be bitten by an adder please adhere to the following:
⚠️ Remain calm and don’t panic, snake bites, particularly those that occur in the UK, usually aren’t serious and are only very rarely deadly.
⚠️ Try to remember the shape, size and colour of the snake.
⚠️ Keep the part of your body that’s been bitten as still as possible to prevent the venom spreading around your body.
⚠️ Remove jewellery and watches from the bitten limb as they could cut into your skin if the limb swells.
⚠️ Do not attempt to remove any clothing, but loosen clothing if possible.
⚠️ Seek immediate medical attention.
If you or someone you’re with is bitten by an adder, you should NOT:
❌ Try to suck the venom out of the bite.
❌ Try to cut the venom out of the bite or make it bleed.
❌ Rub anything into the wound or apply ice, heat or chemicals.
❌ Leave someone who’s been bitten on their own.
❌ Put anything around the bitten limb to stop the spread of venom (such as a tight pressure band, tourniquet or ligature) as it won’t help, and can cause swelling or make it worse.
❌ Try to catch or kill the snake.
⚠️ Dial 999 immediately after being bitten by a snake and ask for an ambulance, or go straight to your nearest A&E department ⚠️
For any further advice on snake bites please click on the following link from the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/snake-bites/