Sucking Bite Does Not Remove Venom

How often have you heard the story that you should suck out the venom from a snakebite or insect bite. Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco have put this to the test. They injected a “mock venom”, which mimicked the composition of a venom without the poisonous effect, into eight male volunteers. This mock venom was radioactively labelled, so it could be traced. A vacuum pump, which simulated the sucking out of the wound, was applied after a few minutes and the amount of venom extraction was calculated by measuring the radioactivity of the extracted mock venom. To the surprise of the researchers only 2% of the mock venom had been sucked out on average.

Venom alert: Attempting to suck out a bite wound will not remove enough venom to make any difference for the total body venom load. It is much more important to not waste any time by applying a tight tourniquet above the bite wound (between the bite and the heart) and to call for an ambulance to rush the patient to the nearest Emergency Department where antitoxin for the venom treatment is available. To suck out a wound would only add mouth bacteria to the wound and could result in serious infections in addition to the poison.

Sucking Bite Does Not Remove Venom

Sucking Bite Does Not Remove Venom

Medical Post, Vol.40, No.12, March 23, 2004 (page 66).

Last edited December 8, 2012

About Ray Schilling

Dr. Ray Schilling born in Tübingen, Germany and Graduated from Eberhard-Karls-University Medical School, Tuebingen in 1971. Once Post-doctoral cancer research position holder at the Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto, is now a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M).