Pressure Immobilisation Technique

Australian Eastern Brown Snake
Pressure Immobilisation Technique in response to a bite from an Eastern Brown Snake will slow the spread of venom.

Pressure Immobilisation Technique (PIT)  is recommended for treating bites and stings from the following creatures:

  • All Australian venomous snakes
  • Funnel Web Spiders
  • Blue Ringed Octopus
  • Cone Shell


PIT is not recommended when providing First Aid for:

  • Other spider bites, including Redback spider bites
  • Jellyfish stings
  • Fish stings, including Stonefish stings
  • Stings from scorpions, centipede or beetles

Read more about spider bites in Australia.


Correct Pressure Immobilisation Technique:

If the victim is bitten or stung on a limb, apply a broad pressure bandage over the bite site as soon as possible. Elasticated bandages (10-15cm wide) are preferred over crepe bandages. If neither is available, clothing or other material should be used. The bandage should be firm and tight — not too tight, but tight enough so you cannot easily slide a finger between the bandaging and the skin.

In order to further restrict lymphatic flow and help immobilise the limb, apply a further pressure bandage — commencing at the fingers or toes of the bitten limb and extending upward, covering as much of the limb as possible. The bandage should be applied over existing clothing. The purpose is to further restrict lymphatic flow and assist immobilisation.

Splint the limb, including joints on either side of the bite, to restrict its movement. The splint material can be incorporated under the layers of bandaging. For the upper limb, use a sling. Along with having the limb immobilised, continue to keep the victim calm. Call for emergency medical help. If urgent help is unavailable, apply local pressure if possible.


IMPORTANT:

  • DO NOT cut or excise the bitten area, or attempt to suck venom from the bite site
  • DO NOT wash the bite area
  • DO NOT apply an arterial tourniquet


First Aid Training

Our Provide First Aid Course covers more about first aid for snake bite.

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