Woman in China tries to suck venom from snake bite, says she saw it on TV

PHOTO: Screengrab/Pearvideo

One woman in China learnt the hard way that real life does not imitate reel life after she tried (and failed) to suck venom out from a snake bite.

The woman from Guizhou province, known only as Lu, was in the toilet on Monday (Sept 9) when a venomous snake bit her on the foot, reported Oriental Daily News.

According to Lu, she tried to purge the venom from her wound after killing the snake.

"First I squeezed the blood from the wound. After squeezing it for about four times, only pus came out… I cleaned the wound with alcohol before sucking on it. Then I rinsed my mouth and rushed to the hospital," Lu recounted in Mandarin.

When asked why she tried to suck the venom out, Lu, who is currently recovering in hospital, laughed and said sheepishly: "I saw it on TV."

It's easy to see why such misconceptions arise — TV shows and movies have popularised various dangerous ways of dealing with snake bites such as applying a tourniquet or using a blade to cut the bite wound in order to suck out the venom.

A scene from the 2006 movie Snakes on a Plane, where a woman cuts into a snakebite with her earring and sucks the venom out. 
Photo: Screengrab/Internet​​

Needless to say, you should not try any of those methods if you happen to get bitten by a snake.

Lu's doctor advised against the sucking of venom from snake bites, explaining that the venom could spread faster if the victim had an ulcer or wound in their mouth.

That could have been the reason for Lu's nausea and vomiting before she reached the hospital, he said.

Experts also say that trying to suck the venom out is futile due to the speed at which the poison spreads in the victim.

Using a tourniquet is another dangerous method that should be avoided as it can cut off the flow of blood, causing a dangerous build-up of venom in one area that could cost the victim their limb.

The best course of action? Leave the wound alone, remove anything tight like rings and clothing from the bite area and seek medical attention immediately.

kimberlylim@asiaone.com

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