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First Aid in the Bush

Snake Bites, Insect Bites, and Blisters

John Rowe

on 23 October 2013

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Transcript of First Aid in the Bush

First Aid in the Bush
Snake Bites
Prevention, Symptoms & Treatment

Insect Bites
How to Prevent Blisters when Bush Walking

•Wear good-fitting, comfortable footwear and socks.
•Try to keep feet dry and clean.
•Treating as soon as a hot spot is felt.

•Hot spots are literally that, a localised warm, hot or burning sensation caused by friction (rubbing) that will turn into a blister if left untreated.
•Hot spots are the first warning sign that a blister is forming.

Prevention is better than a cure!
If you have sound preventative measures in place, the likelihood of having to administer First Aid is significantly decreased
•Appropriate clothing (i.e. Long pants, covered, full length socks)
•Staying on the designated walking trail or area
•Observing the surroundings (i.e. looking and listening through shrub)
•Walking as a group – not scattered and separated

Apply Pressure over the bite
Lay victim down and keep them calm
Apply broad bandage
Immobilize with makeshift splint
Constantly observe for signs of deterioration
Rest for a day or two
• Puncture marks
• Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea
• Headache
• Double or blurred vision
• Breathing difficulties
• Drowsiness, giddiness
• Pain or tightness in chest or abdomen
• Respiratory weakness or arrest.

Snake bites, Insect Bites, and Blisters
How to Treat Blisters in the Bush
If blisters have already formed, then stop walking and rest.
Do not burst the blister. Let it heal on its own to avoid infection. Keep the blister and surrounding area clean.

Cover the blister with a soft dressing if it is in an area that may get bumped or rubbed during the day. Cut a small circle out of a high density foam pad, or use Fixomull, Compeed or other blister kits. Place over the blister or hot spot.

If the blister breaks or it becomes too painful the liquid in the blister will need to be drained. Wash the blister with a hand sanitiser, antibacterial gel or water. Cover the blister with an antiseptic such as Betadine. Then cover it with a simple non-adherent dressing such as Second Skin, Leucofoam, or Fixomull. Repeat the procedure twice a day to prevent infection.

Consult a doctor if there is an increase in redness around the blister, swelling, or pus as these are signs of infection. You should also see your doctor if you develop unexplained blistering.
Preventative Measures
Wear appropriate clothing and footwear while participating in outdoor activities.
Ensure that the group leader or manager is carrying appropriate medication for students who suffer from allergies.
Ensure students who suffer from allergies are carrying appropriate medication.
Ensure you know and are aware of students medical conditions.
Carry appropriate insect repellants.
Symptoms- Spider Bites
Person will experience a sharp sting and swelling around the bite and onset of severe pain.
Nausea, dizziness and weakness.
Rapid Pulse.
Symptoms- Bee Sting/ Insect Bite
Pain at the area of the sting.
Some swelling will occur around the sting location.
The person will experience redness and itchiness at the point of the sting.
Sting can usually be seen.
Treatment- Spider Bites
Apply a wet compression bandage over the area. (Mainly concerning Red-Back spider bites).
Monitor person and seek medical attention if their condition deteriorates.
Treatment- Bee Sting/ Insect Bite
Remove sting and wipe the area.
Apply a wet compression. (Bandage)
Check for Allergic Reaction. i.e. Dizziness, asthma or hotness all over the body.
Seek medical help if condition deteriorates.
Ensure campsites are located away from obvious insect habitats. i.e. bee hives, ant hills or water containing mosquitoes.
Other Resources
St. John Ambulance Australia
Bites and Stings Quick Guide to First Aid Management-

St. John Ambulance Australia
Bushwalking Victoria
Brambuk - The National Park & Cultural Centre
This leaflet lists species of fauna recorded in the Grampians National Park.
All native mammals, reptiles and amphibians in the National Park are protected; introduced animals are being controlled or eradicated where practicable
This video shows how to manage hot spots so they don't turn into a blister and go from just annoying to disastrous -potentially resulting in the cancellation of, or even an evacuation from, your adventure due to incapacitation, infection or blood poisoning.
What is a blister?

A blister is a lump filled with fluid that appears when the skin’s outer layer is injured.
Blisters are caused by friction.
The fluid forms under the damaged skin and protects the sensitive new skin growing underneath it.
The process usually takes 3–7 days. Sometimes the blister breaks on its own.

Adventure Pro Video. (2012, September 30). How to prevent blisters by AdventurePro. Retrieved from

Author Unknown (2011) 9 tips to avoid a snake bite in the outdoors, Great Walks Magazine Dec/Jan 2011, Surry Hills, NSW

Author Unknown (2013) Snakebites, Bushwalking Victoria. Retrieved 7/8/2013, from http://www.bushwalkingvictoria.org.au/snakebite.html

Brambuk (2013) Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibia, Fishes & Crustaceans. The National Park & Cultural Centre, Grampians National Park, VIC

Faucher, C. (2010, September 9). Guide to remote first aid. Retrieved August 12, 2013, from Australian Geographic: outdoor: http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/outdoor/remote-first-aid-in-the-wilderness.htm

Froude, C and Polley, S (2008) Outdoor Education: Foundations for Tertiary and Secondary Education, Impact, Perth.

Malmstrom, J. (2010, August 24). Bear Grylls Kills Snake With His Mouth. Retrieved from

St John Ambulance Australia. (2012, September 1). Bites and Stings: Quick guide to first aid management. Retrieved August 14, 2013, from St John Ambulance Australia: http://www.stjohn.org.au/images/stjohn/information/fact_sheets/FS_bites_table.pdf
What is a Blister?
Common Causes of Blisters
Allergic reactions to chemicals that contact the skin or to medicines taken by mouth.
Burns and scalds.
Insect bites or stings.
Viral infection of the skin (e.g. cold sores — caused by herpes simplex virus).
Fungal infection of the skin.

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