How to Treat Rattlesnake Bites - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

How to Treat Rattlesnake Bites

WASHINGTON - KNDU ran a story about a 5-year-old boy who was bitten by a rattlesnake and gave viewers some snake bite first aid tips.

We were contacted by several people who said they had treatment information that conflicted with the story.

Well, it turns out some of our old snake bite remedies no longer work.

Remember the old plan to cut open the snake bite and suck out the poison, it's just one of a few outdated and inaccurate first aid methods.

Washington rattlesnakes may look scary, but they're not as dangerous as rattlesnakes in other parts of the country.

According to the Medical Director of the Washington Poison Center, who claims to have the most updated research on snake bites, these are the four most important first aid treatments:

- Elevate the bitten area to prevent swelling and pain.

- If swelling spreads and becomes painful, see a doctor.

- DO NOT attempt to suck out the poison.

- DO NOT attempt to catch the snake that bit you.

Poison Control says some health professionals are not up to date on treatment methods because they don't see a lot of snake bites.

In fact, the FDA's website says you SHOULD NOT elevate the bitten area to prevent the poison from flowing to your heart.

Poison Control says this is inaccurate.

They also say snake bite kits have never been proven to work effectively.

If you want more information on snake bites you're encouraged to call Poison Control 1-800-222-1222.