A copperhead snake bite is typically not deadly to adults, but treating the bite is still essential. If someone you know has been bitten by a copperhead, the first thing you should do is call for medical help right away. While you wait for assistance, you need to calm the bitten person down and examine the wound. Remove any clothing that is covering the wound, and try to keep it at a level below the heart. If you have access to soap and water, wash the bitten area thoroughly.
If medical help does not arrive within 30 minutes after a person has been bitten, you may need to wrap a bandage a couple of inches above the bite. Be careful not to make it too tight because you don't want to cut off the person's circulation. You could also dampen a piece of wound dressing and apply to the bite to help keep it from swelling. Pay close attention to the bitten person to see how she is feeling. Even though a copperhead snake bite is not typically deadly, some people are more sensitive to snake venom than others.
The person who has been bitten may complain of severe pain and nausea, and he might also begin vomiting. These reactions are usually typical with a copperhead snake bite. The bitten area will most likely begin to swell, which is why it is important to remove any clothing that may be constricting the area. When a copperhead snake bite is left untreated, there is a risk of damage to muscle tissue that could become permanent. A doctor can use an antivenin, which is an antidote to the venom of poisonous snakes, to treat the person who has been bitten.
There are several things you should avoid trying to do if you are attempting to treat a copperhead snake bite. You should never use a tourniquet above the snake wound because this could cut off the circulation of the bitten person, which might make amputation necessary. It's also not a good idea to make cuts in a person's skin to try to drain the venom out. This usually does not work, and you will have left the bitten person with more scars in addition to what may be left by the snake bite. Additionally, you should never try to suck snake venom out of a wound because it could cause you to become poisoned as well, particularly if you have any small cuts inside your mouth.