Cattleman airlifted after brown snake bite

James Nason, 01/02/2015
The CareFlight helicopter at the Toowoomba Base Hospital.

The CareFlight helicopter at the Toowoomba Base Hospital.

The RACQ CareFlight medical team has praised a cattleman’s quick response to a serious snake bite on the weekend.

RACQ CareFlight Rescue airlifted the man in his 40s from Kingaroy on Saturday after he was bitten twice by a brown snake.

It’s believed the man was working his property in the Kingaroy area early on Saturday afternoon when he stepped from his ute onto the one metre long snake.

“He remained calm, lay down, rang for help and put a compression bandage on his leg – he was very level headed,” RACQ CareFlight Pilot Simon Newman said.

The Toowoomba RACQ CareFlight Rescue crew was tasked to Kingaroy Hospital at 4.30 this afternoon to airlift the man for further treatment.

The patient was flown to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in a  serious but stable condition.

It’s the third snake bite patient CareFlight has treated and transferred this month, the twelfth in 17 weeks.

On January 9 a man in his thirties was also airlifted by the Toowoomba based crew to the Princess Alexandra Hospital, from Warwick.

It’s believed the man was camping in the region when he was bitten.

Three days earlier on January 6 a  woman was treated by CareFlight medical teams and airlifted from a property near Mitchell by the Surat Gas Aero-Medical Service to Toowoomba Base Hospital.

This patient also travelled in a stable condition.

On Sunday December 21 a woman in her seventies was in her kitchen in Dulacca, 80 kilometres west of Miles in the afternoon when she felt something run across her foot, looking down she saw a two metre brown snake which had bitten her on the foot.

She was also airlifted by the Surat Gas Aero-Medical Service crewed by a CareFlight intensive care specialist medical team to Toowoomba Base Hospital and travelled in a stable condition.

And on December 15 a little girl was airlifted after suffering a suspected snake bite.

The RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopter was tasked to Goondiwindi Hospital just after midnight.

It’s believed the child had been bitten on the leg.

The toddler was flown to the Toowoomba Base Hospital for further tests, her mother accompanied her.

On November 12 a South Burnett woman in her forties was airlifted.

It is believed the woman was cleaning out a shed when she moved a washing machine and felt something sting her finger.

On October 9, a ten year old boy was airlifted from Warwick Hospital to the Mater Children’s Hospital following a snake bite.

Just five days later, a 20 year old woman was airlifted to Hervey Bay Hospital after a suspected snake bite on Fraser Island.

On October 20, a young boy was bitten by a brown snake in Toowoomba, requiring an urgent RACQ CareFlight Rescue flight to Toowoomba Base Hospital.

On October 27, A young girl was airlifted by RACQ CareFlight Rescue after she was thought to be bitten by a snake at a property at Tara in the Darling Downs region.

A day later on October 28, RACQ CareFlight Rescue airlifted a woman after a suspected snake bite on a property north west of Texas.

The 60-year-old she felt something hit her leg while walking through long grass on a property north of Texas.

Emergency services were contacted after the woman began experiencing a stinging sensation in the affected area.

She had two puncture wounds on her leg.

The patient was transferred to Toowoomba Base Hospital to undergo further medical assessment and treatment.

On September 7, a young teenager riding a trail bike felt a stinging sensation on his leg and thought he saw a snake.

His father took him to hospital, where test results came back positive for a brown snake bite.

The Toowoomba crew airlifted the boy from Millmerran Hospital to Toowoomba Base Hospital in a stable condition.

CareFlight Critical Care Doctors urge people who suspect they have been bitten by a snake to remain calm and limit body movement to prevent the venom spreading – just as this most recent patient did.

“Call triple zero immediately and apply a bandage to the bite, wrapping it tightly around the area to compress it,” CareFlight Chief Medical Officer Allan MacKillop said.

“Don’t try to kill or capture the snake as people can find they are bitten a second time.

“Medical facilities don’t need the snake for identification.”


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