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Sea Snakes

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Appendix A: First Aid Case and Kits, Dressings, and Bandages
Appendix B: Rescue and Transportation Procedures
Appendix C: Common Problems/Conditions
Appendix D: Digital Pressure
Appendix E: Decontamination Procedures
Appendix F: Glossary

The sea snake is primarily found in the northern waters of Australia. There are approximately 31 different species of sea snake. All of them are dangerous to humans, but relatively few of these bites cause any significant injury because the sea snake fangs are extremely tiny, only 2-4 mm. in length. They do contain neurotoxins, however, but most often cannot penetrate the wetsuit worn by a diver. Deaths that have been documented occurred among fishermen who ran into their nests. Sea snakes bear their young on shore, and spend the remainder of their lives in the ocean looking for food, fish and eel. They are very shy and not aggressive by nature.

After being bitten, side effects generally do not appear for 20-30 minutes, at which point severe pain is experienced in the affected limb. Droopy eyelids, respiratory weakness and muscle pain can occur. There is anti-venom available for sea snakes; however, if unavailable, the anti-venom for the tiger snake may be used. An adult sea snake may carry enough venom to kill approximately three adult people. Its primary neurotoxin can cause peripheral paralysis. The sea snake venom is approximately two times more potent than the land snake venom, in comparing rattlesnakes, copperheads and water moccasins. Although more lethal, there is less chances of being bitten given the small size of the fangs and less aggressive nature of the snake.




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