Snake Bites

This passage describes what you should do if you are ever bitten by a snake and how to treat the bite.

Lexile Level: 1220L

Categories: Sports & Health Animals & Nature

You see them in the movies sinking their fangs into someone's leg, but you never think it could happen to you. If you enjoy taking hikes in the woods, then be careful of where you step. Most snake bites occur when people accidentally step on camouflaged snakes. Symptoms of snake bites are swelling, bleeding, pain, ecchymosis (purple discoloration), necrosis (tissue that dies or turns black), low blood pressure, and tingling lips and tongue. First aid for snake bites consists of washing the bite with soap and water, keeping the bite stable and lower than the heart, and going to the hospital immediately. Most snake bites are treated with antivenin (also called "antivenom"), which is an antidote to snake venom. Antivenin is made from the antibodies created in horse or sheep blood after these animals are injected with snake venom. The antivenin neutralizes the snake venom that is already poisoning the person's body.

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