The Manual - How to survive a snakebite

1. Immobilise the limb to slow the venom spreading through your body. If the victim is unable to remain still make a splint for the injury as you would with a fractured bone. Rolled up magazines work perfectly.

2. Keep the limb at body level; don't raise it, as this will just make the venom travel faster into the body.

3. Do not panic if you can't identify the snake and never place yourself in more danger by trying to catch or kill the snake. Most modern venom vaccines are 'polyvalent', which means they are effective against most known venoms.

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4. Never try and cut the wound or suck the venom out. This could make the bite infected, which could in turn lead to limb amputation or even worse, death.

5. Do not apply a tourniquet to the limb unless a main artery has been punctured and you run the risk of bleeding to death. Doing so will cause tissue damage and once again, possible amputation.

6. Do not panic. This only makes the venom spread quicker. Many snakebites are only life threatening without treatment and are relatively slow working. If bitten by a Cobra or Krait for example, you will most likely survive if you can make it through the first two hours. Viper bites take around five to six hours to kill you.

7. If bitten seek professional help immediately even if you think you've passed the worse. Many snakebite fatalities occur when the wound becomes infected, not from the venom.

Words by Jordan Waller, expertise from survival guru James Mandeville. For more, see www.survival-expert.com

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