Brasão Governo de São Paulo

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First aid

Accidents with venomous animals are common, but can be avoided. Therefore, some precautions need to be taken:

Snakes: wear closed shoes, preferably with high tops, when walking or working outdoors. Wear thick gloves to handle dry leaves, garbage, firewood, straw, etc. Do not put your hands in holes and be careful when turning over termite mounds. Avoid accumulation of trash and rubble.

Snakes, scorpions and centipedes: keep gardens and backyards clean. Avoid dense foliage along walls of houses and keep the grass trimmed. Do not put your hands in holes, under rocks and on rotting logs. Wear thick shoes and gloves for gardening activities. Seal drains, cracks, holes and door and windowsills. Move beds and cribs away from the walls. Prevent bed linen and mosquito nets from touching the floor. Shake out and check clothes and shoes before wearing them. Preserve natural predators: owls, guinea pigs, lizards, frogs, chickens, geese and coatis.

Caterpillars: careful when touching tree trunks and plants in the garden. Check for gnawed leaves on tree branches, cocoons and caterpillar feces on the ground. Wear rubber gloves when handling plants.

In case of an accident, what can I do?


Serpent accidents

Serpent accidents

After a snakebite, the patient should be reassured and removed to the nearest hospital or health center. The bite site should be washed with soap and water. The person should be prevented from walking or running as much as possible, and they should lie down with the bitten limb elevated. Tourniquets, incisions or substances (leaves, coffee powder, snakeskin, etc.) should not be used at the bite site. These interfere negatively, increasing the chance of complications such as infections, necrosis and amputation of a limb.

The only effective treatment for snake envenomation is with antivenom, which is specific for each type (genus) of snake. The sooner antivenom therapy is started, the lower the chance of complications.

The choice of antivenom and its dosage depend on the medical diagnosis, which must take into account the peculiarities of each type of accident.

Before administering the antivenom, the health professional must assess whether there are clinical manifestations that indicate that the individual has been bitten by a venomous snake. There are many more non-venomous snakes in the wild, and for these there is no need for antivenom treatment. Thus, serum therapy must always be indicated by a doctor and the application must be carried out according to the severity of the envenomation.

It must be administered intravenously and should not be done outside the hospital environment, as it can cause severe allergic reactions that require


Scorpion accidents

Scorpion accidents

The use of ointments on the spot is not recommended, as it can change the color of the skin, in addition to being ineffective in preventing the penetration of the venom. As in snakebite accidents, tourniquets, incisions and suction at the bite site are harmful.

Warm compresses help alleviate the condition until arrival at a health service, where the need for antivenom administration will be evaluated. Putting ice on the site is not recommended.

In children younger than 12 months of age, medical evaluation should be carried out as soon as possible so that, when indicated, the arachnid antivenom acts in time to neutralize the action of the venom.


Spider accidents

Spider accidents

Most spiders that live inside houses are harmless. Even so, any symptom resulting from a bite requires medical evaluation to indicate the best treatment, which may involve a warm compress, analgesic or the administration of arachnid antivenom, indicated to neutralize the action of the wandering/armed spider and brown spider venoms.

Warm compresses help alleviate the condition until arrival at a health service, where the need for antivenom administration will be evaluated. It is not recommended to put ice on the site.

As in accidents with scorpions and snakes, the use of ointments on the spot is not recommended, as it can change the color of the skin, in addition to being ineffective in preventing the penetration of the venom. Tourniquet, incision and suction at the bite site are harmful.


Caterpillar accidents

Caterpillar accidents

In summer, caterpillars often appear on native or fruit trees. Be careful when picking fruit or handling leaves and twigs, always remembering that the use of gloves prevents accidents. Pay special attention to children because they tend to climb trees and touch the caterpillars.

Contact with the animal's pointed bristles causes the venom to be injected into anyone who touches it. In most cases, the pain is intense, similar to a burn. The main symptoms are swelling, redness and swollen lymph nodes (bubo). Complications such as kidney failure or heavy bleeding rarely occur. A type of caterpillar, known as Lonomia, requires special attention, as it can cause, in addition to changes in the contact site, changes in blood clotting and, consequently, bleeding in the gums, urine and other regions of the body. We produce the antivenom available in the public health network to treat the Lonomia bite.

First aid

Washing the area well with running water and making cold compresses with water or ice tends to ease the pain.

As in other accidents, it is not recommended to put any chemical or organic product on the burn, such as coffee, leaves, toothpaste, gasoline, etc. Taking the caterpillar to identify the species helps to distinguish Lonomia from other caterpillars, since that, in this case, it may be necessary to use the antivenom to neutralize its effect.

Information

(+55 11) 2627-9529 / 9530
(+55 11) 3723-6969

hvb.medicos@butantan.gov.br
hvb.enfermagem@butantan.gov.br
hvb.geral@butantan.gov.br

Av. Vital Brasil, 1500, next to the helipad

Free medical assistance

Phone guidance: 24 hours a day
IN CASE OF ACCIDENTS WITH VENOMOUS ANIMALS, GO TO THE NEAREST HEALTH UNIT!
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