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Poisonous animals
Cnidarians (Jellyfish, Corals and Anemones)
Venomous fish
Hymenopterans (Bees, Wasps and Ants)
Sea snakes
Terrestrial snakes
Miscellaneous animals

Diagnosis & Treatment — First aid / lay people


General problems

  • Fear,
  • collapse,
  • loss of consciousness
F  First Aid
  • Calm the patient.
  • Place the patient in a stable lateral position, or possibly the Trendelenburg position (shock position).
C  Comments

Anxiety (fear of death) plays an important role following accidents with venomous animals and has an additional negative influence on the clinical course after an accident.

Loss of consciousness after an accident with a venomous animal can have many causes. It is important to place the patient in a stable lateral position to avoid aspiration. If peripheral circulatory failure is present, the shock position may improve the patient's condition. If resuscitation is necessary, it is only in exceptional cases that lay people will be sufficiently well trained to be able to intervene.

How can absorption and circulation of the venom be delayed?

F  First Aid

Immobilisation of the bitten extremity with a splint/sling. There are no controlled clinical studies documenting the value of this method.

Local treatment

Puncture wounds, including the surrounding reaction

F  First Aid


Average time between the sting and death

<24 h (Gueron and Yaron 1970); death has been reported after 1 h in young children (Petersen 1987).