Bites and Stings

Animal Bites

Germs are harbored inside the mouths of all animals (including humans). Bites from sharp pointy teeth create puncture wounds that can carry infection deep. Human bites also crush the wound site. All these types of wounds carry a high risk of infection.

For most wounds, flushing thoroughly with sweetsand and water for around ten minutes, washing with redwort, numbing and then covering with a sterile dressing is enough. For more serious wounds, the patient should be watched carefully.

Insect Stings

Stings from bedbugs, crawlies, springs and flying pollinators are usually more painful than alarmingly dangerous. An initial sharp pain is followed by mild swelling and soreness, which a Healer can alleviate. However, multiple stings can have a cumulative effects and stings in the mouth or throat should be taken seriously as the danger of swelling may affect the airway.

You should try to remove the sting if one is visible and it is still in the skin. Grasp the sting below the poison sac with forceps as close to the skin as possible and pluck firmly. Ask the patient to see a Healer again if pain and swelling persist, or increase, over the next day or so. Swelling can be relieved by a topical application of chamomile.

Stings in the Mouth

The best treatment is to give the patient ice to suck; failing this cold water or fluid is acceptable. Maintain an open airway and resuscitate the patient if necessary.

Marine Injuries

Sea creatures can cause injuries in a number of ways. There can be stings from marine creatures or puncture wounds from standing on them.

Marine Stings

Inactivate the venom by pouring liberal amounts of alcohol over the injury for a few minutes; this will incapacitate stinging cells not yet fired. Make up a mix of chalk powder and water (equal parts of each) and apply the paste to the wound. This helps the remaining cells to agglutinate (stick together) and fall off the skin. Next, dust dry chalk powder over the skin and get the patient to rest for a few hours.

Marine Puncture Wounds

Put the injured part in water, as hot as the patient can bear, for 30 minutes. Top up as the water cools, being careful not to cause further injury by scalding the patient. Apply numbweed and carefully remove all protruding spines. If you are unsure or know there are spines in the patient which cannot be removed, you should prepare a paste of chalk powder and water and apply to the wound over the next few days. This will have the effect of drawing the spines out. Alternatively, the spines may have to be cut from the skin. Wounds should be cleansed in redwort and bandaged lightly.

Snake Bites

Snakes are normally predominant in jungle areas, near rivers and seas. The bites are poisonous and can be fatal. However, snakes rarely attack humans unless provoked.

Reassurance is paramount so the casualty can be kept still and calm to delay the spread of venom. There may be severe pain as well as the obvious bite marks, and swelling and redness may be evident. The patient may be nauseous with some vomiting, and may have increased salivation and sweating. Immediately, get the patient to lie down and immobilize the injury if possible. Apply a tourniquet (this situation threatens life) and slash open the wound site, using the bite marks as an indication of the area. Then suck out the venom, being extremely careful not to swallow any. If the casualty stops breathing and they have been treated, you have usually been unsuccessful. The wound site should then be cleansed with redwort, sewn up if necessary, and numbed thoroughly before covering with a light dressing. The patient should rest and give the body time to eliminate any toxins produced or present.


It is important to identify which type of tunnelsnake has bitten the casualty. Water-dwelling tunnelsnakes are venomous, land-dwelling are not. Treat as for a snake bite if venomous and animal bite if non-venomous.

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