Forum Index » Philosophy & Technique » ACR PLB and snake bites


Display Avatars Sort By:
Beau Beveridge
(Roadtorque) - F
ACR PLB and snake bites on 11/15/2010 10:00:41 MST Print View

Plain and simple...

Do you think being bit by a venomous snake is a reason to activate the ACR PLB for rescue?

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
PLB and Snake Bites on 11/15/2010 10:39:14 MST Print View

Nothing in these forums is ever so simple...

- Hiking alone or with a group?
- Miles from the nearest road or next to one?
- Bushwacking or along a super trailway (i.e. the AT)?
- Time of day you were bit? Almost dark or sun just up?

There are probably lots of other variations that would come into play to answer this question. I believe the general consensus is that you need to seek proper medical attention as soon as possible.

This should be interesting...

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: PLB and Snake Bites on 11/15/2010 11:17:33 MST Print View

Mojave Green or Diamondback?
Hand or Calf?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: ACR PLB and snake bites on 11/15/2010 11:29:48 MST Print View

Just because a venomous snake bites you, it does not mean that any venom was delivered. Even if venom was delivered, it might or might not be a lethal dose. Some snake species have to deliver their full load for it to be lethal. Other species can give you a little love tap that would be lethal. So, it helps to know your snake species.

If you are only a mile from your car, you can probably walk out and drive yourself to the nearest ER. But, what if you are 30 miles in on a 60-mile trip?

--B.G.--

Beau Beveridge
(Roadtorque) - F
Re: PLB and Snake Bites on 11/15/2010 13:24:09 MST Print View

"Nothing in these forums is ever so simple...

- Hiking alone or with a group?
- Miles from the nearest road or next to one?
- Bushwacking or along a super trailway (i.e. the AT)?
- Time of day you were bit? Almost dark or sun just up?"

Kevin.
Feel free to tell me when you do or dont think it is appropriate to call for help to your questions. There are to many variables to list them all so I'm speaking in very general terms.

Edited by Roadtorque on 11/15/2010 15:34:51 MST.

Beau Beveridge
(Roadtorque) - F
Re: Re: PLB and Snake Bites on 11/15/2010 13:24:47 MST Print View

"Mojave Green or Diamondback?
Hand or Calf?"

Greg, your answer is...

Yes ;)

Edited by Roadtorque on 11/15/2010 15:35:36 MST.

Beau Beveridge
(Roadtorque) - F
Re: Re: ACR PLB and snake bites on 11/15/2010 13:26:14 MST Print View

"Just because a venomous snake bites you, it does not mean that any venom was delivered. Even if venom was delivered, it might or might not be a lethal dose. Some snake species have to deliver their full load for it to be lethal. Other species can give you a little love tap that would be lethal. So, it helps to know your snake species."

Bob
...so I have read, although I dont recall a way of knowing (at least trailside) if the snake has or hasn't delivered any venom.

Edited by Roadtorque on 11/15/2010 15:36:09 MST.

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: ACR PLB and snake bites on 11/15/2010 13:29:55 MST Print View

This is one situation where I think that the Spot has the hand up on a PLB. You can send a "need help" instead of "emergency/911" message.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
pull on 11/15/2010 14:36:00 MST Print View

if i thought i was poisoned and felt faint id pull it ...

its your life ... rather than yr pride

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: ACR PLB and snake bites on 11/15/2010 14:48:09 MST Print View

"although I dont recall a way of knowing (at least trailside) if the snake has or hasn't delivered any venom."

You really want to take a good course in backcountry first aid, because that is a topic that is taught. If you can accurately decide whether venom was delivered, it will help you decide the other things, like how much to rush the victim to the ER.

Start with the assumption that it was your basic, garden-variety, angry rattlesnake. Once you have verified that the snake is no longer a danger, you examine the wound site and look for two holes a fraction of an inch apart. If there is venom in there, it will likely develop swelling, redness, and soreness within five minutes. You can take that time to assess the situation. For other venomous snakes, it's different, so you need to be wise about the risks in your area.

Some venomous snake species cannot deliver a lethal dose no matter what they do to you, so a little training can go a long way.

--B.G.--

Beau Beveridge
(Roadtorque) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: ACR PLB and snake bites on 11/15/2010 15:43:52 MST Print View

Good points Bob.
So to the original question. If you knew you were felt like venom had been delivered in the bite and a few hours from the trailhead would you activate the PLB? I'm thinking I would.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ACR PLB and snake bites on 11/15/2010 15:48:09 MST Print View

"So to the original question. If you knew you were felt like venom had been delivered in the bite and a few hours from the trailhead would you activate the PLB?"

There are too many variables that were asked and not answered, so you can theorize all you want.

--B.G.--

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: ACR PLB and snake bites on 11/15/2010 16:21:25 MST Print View

If I were with someone who got bit by a rattlesnake and I were more than, say, an hour from a hospital (hike hike + drive time) and I had no other means of communication, I'd activate the PLB. I'd probably lie the victim down and try to keep them calm while waiting for the cavalry. Yeah, they might have a dry strike, but I'm not going to play dice with their life. If there's any bite at all, then I'm going to act as though there were a full envenomation.

If I were less than an hour away from a hospital, I might still activate the PLB, but I'd at least consider evacuating the person on foot.

HJ

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: ACR PLB and snake bites on 11/15/2010 16:30:18 MST Print View

Another consideration is S&R the response window.

If you call for rescue at 6 pm, and you are in there a ways, you might not see anyone until the next morning. If the weather is bad, longer. It could be more effective to walk out.

Beau Beveridge
(Roadtorque) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ACR PLB and snake bites on 11/15/2010 16:34:36 MST Print View

"There are too many variables that were asked and not answered, so you can theorize all you want."

Yes, to many variables to for an infinite amount of situations for one thread. I didn't want to limit people's answers to one specific situation. Feel free to describe the conditions in which you feel justified activating a PLB with regards to a snake bite. Simply stating there are to many variables doesn't answer anything. In fact, it seems like an easy way to get out of answering ;)


Greg, Great thought about the response time of SAR. It may be best to start walking their way while they start walking ours. If you beat them to the trail head, deactivate the PLB and call it in while you drive to the hospital.

Edited by Roadtorque on 11/15/2010 16:37:12 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: ACR PLB and snake bites on 11/15/2010 16:45:29 MST Print View

"Just because a venomous snake bites you, it does not mean that any venom was delivered. Even if venom was delivered, it might or might not be a lethal dose. Some snake species have to deliver their full load for it to be lethal. Other species can give you a little love tap that would be lethal. So, it helps to know your snake species."

It would also help to evaluate the victim. Is the limb swollen far from the wound? Breathing labored? Rattlesnake venom interferes with muscle function, which eventually kills a victim by preventing them from breathing. It also contains components that break down tissue as a prelude to digesting it. Even if the victim is not in mortal danger, extensive tissue damage can have have long lasting effects. Both of these factors should be considered as part of a decision to activate a PLB, or not, IMO.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: ACR PLB and snake bites on 11/15/2010 17:07:18 MST Print View

Good point about response time. I broke a leg in the back country at about 3:00 PM one time. I think they got to me around 9:00 PM.

In a Wilderness First Aid class I took in 2007, they recommended having the victim lie down and keeping them calm while others went for help. They stressed that walking would only cause the venom to spread, but boy would it be tough to wait if SAR didn't come quickly.

I can understand why people would want to activate the PLB while simultaneously walking the victim out, but I wonder how much damage the walking would do to the victim.

HJ

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
bag on 11/15/2010 17:30:09 MST Print View

one thing to note is that you had better have proper insulation if youre going to wait for a rescue

either extra clothing, a light bag, a survival bag etc ....

an unmoving person in colder temps (how cold does it get in the desert) is at risk of hypothermia

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Re: ACR PLB and snake bites on 11/16/2010 09:25:43 MST Print View

Good point about waiting and cold. One has to really think about whether or not waiting is a realistic option.

I usually carry an old AMK Thermolite bivvy (the lighter, orginal one) in colder weather. Not sure how much it would actually help though.

HJ

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: Re: ACR PLB and snake bites on 11/16/2010 09:34:58 MST Print View

Too Many variables indeed

I was thinking that if it were cold you could pull the beacon and wait, the cold keeping your blood flow lowered therefore slowing down the venom in your blood. But if its too cold, your body will have to fight cold AND venom. Too many variables.

I guess for me, it'd be a gametime decision. When and where...

I'd pull it if I thought I needed to. ...and if I had one:)