J R Army Med Corps 158:194-198 doi:10.1136/jramc-158-03-09
  • Original Papers

British Military Snake-bite Guidelines: Pressure Immobilisation

  1. Maj Colin Wall1
  1. 1Defence Lecturer in General Practice, RCDM, Birmingham
  1. ICT Centre, Birmingham Research Park, Vincent Drive, Edgbaston , Birmingham B15 2 SQ. 0121 415 8856 Lect.GP{at}


Snake-bite is a significant problem worldwide. Despite frequent deployments and exercises to countries where venomous snakes are endemic there are few reported cases of British Army personnel being bitten. Clinical Guidelines for Operations includes direction on the treatment of snakebite, including the application of pressure immobilisation. This article reviews the history and development of pressure immobilisation, the optimum equipment and the efficacy of training in order to inform future guidelines. It is the conclusion of this review that pressure immobilisation should be advocated in all snakebites where the snake species is not known. In addition guidelines should advocate the use of Sam splints and Emergency Bandages in the application of pressure immobilisation.

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