Bandages in many Australian first aid kits recommended as a first response to snakebite can do little to halt the poison's spread, experts have warned. Crepe bandages do not exert enough pressure on the poisoned limb, and they offer little benefit beyond preventing movement.
A Northern Territory-based study has found that "….first aid bandages currently available in many first aid kits may actually not enable Australians to alter the outcome of a bite beyond the potential benefit of immobilisation," This was the case "even (when) strictly following the current Australian Resuscitation Council guidelines for snakebite".
Bandages were found to be "consistently inferior" to elasticised bandages when it came to generating enough pressure to stop the poison spreading. Even when applied properly, the bandages were found to "quickly lose any effective pressure" when exposed to the equivalent of a 30-minute ride in an ambulance.
For more information on snake bite response and first aid, visit Medilife .