Woman in Sembawang bitten by snake – here’s what you should not do if you get bitten by a venomous snake

A woman in Sembawang was left bleeding profusely after a python bit her on her left leg.
Chan Yin Ha via Lianhe Wanbao

A woman in Sembawang was left bleeding profusely after a 3m-long python bit her on the leg.

According to Lianhe Wanbao, the snake was hidden behind some potted plants on the second-storey of a HDB block on Sembawang Drive.

The woman had been out looking for her cat at 4am on Oct 9 when she felt a sharp pain in her leg, the Chinese daily reported.

When she realised she had been bitten by a python, the woman tried to get help from her neighbour but the neighbour did not answer the door when she knocked.

She then sought help from family members and they called an ambulance. Later, the neighbour saw a trail of blood at his doorstep and called the police thinking there had been a fight.

The snake, which was about 3m long, was caught in a ground floor drain by a pest control agency.
Chan Yin Ha via Lianhe Wanbao

In the end, a pest control agency was called in, and the snake was eventually caught.

As pythons are not venomous, the victim received stitches for her wound and was put under observation for a few hours.

This was not the first time she had seen a snake near her home, The Straits Times reported.

It is not rare to find pythons in urban Singapore and sightings are often reported. But other snakes such as the venomous cobra have also been spotted in the past.

Do you know what you should do if and when you encounter a snake in your neighbourhood?

First of all, you should call the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) and wildlife rescue group Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) to alert them of the sighting.

According to ST, Acres says it is best to leave pythons alone when spotted in nature spaces, green spaces, nature reserves, big water bodies, parks, canals and deep drains. But if they are spotted in a built environment and are injured or trapped, members of the public can call the Acres’ wildlife rescue hotline for help.

The worst thing to do is to disturb the python.

But what if you get bitten by a venomous snake?

Coyote Peterson, host of Brave Wilderness, says the first thing you need to do is to stay calm.

In an interview with Tech Insider, Peterson says that the worst thing you can do is to run and get your heart pumping faster. That could make the venom spread faster.

Instead, you should keep the bitten body part elevated and seek immediate medical attention. You should not wait for symptoms to appear before going to see a doctor.

You should also not try to suck the poison out as it could make things worse.

There are many types of snake bites and venom, so try to remember what the snake looks like so you can get the correct anti-venom.

You can wash the wound with soap and water, but don’t apply ice or submerge it in water, Frank Burbrink, curator of herpetology at American Museum of Natural History, said to Tech Insider.

Also, don’t put on a tourniquet, which can cause a lot of damage, he added.

Watch the video on what else you should and should not do when you get bitten by a snake: