SPRING WARNING: Col Brighton and “patient” Roy Hillier demonstrate first-aid treatment.
SPRING WARNING: Col Brighton and “patient” Roy Hillier demonstrate first-aid treatment. Brett Wortman

Perfect weather has brought snakes out of hibernation

THE return of our glorious warm weather also means the return of something more sinister - our deadly snakes are back on the move.

Snake bites have already started occurring in south-east Queensland this season, along with increased sightings and more snakes in residential areas.

There have been some close calls already on the Sunshine Coast but, thankfully, no serious incidents.

A St John Ambulance Queensland spokesman said recent hot weather had brought snakes out of hibernation earlier than usual.

"There's been a few snake bites around since the end of winter," St John Sunshine Coast divisional officer Col Brighton said. He said brown snakes, red-bellied blacks and taipans had all been seen in the region, and not just in bushland.

"Snakes have been more prevalent in the suburbs," he said. "The browns, they can come anywhere."

The highly venomous brown snake has been the most commonly reported species, and can cause fatalities if people do not treat them carefully. "They're very dangerous," Mr Brighton said.

"Any snake, when it's cornered, will bite."

St John Ambulance is urging people to familiarise themselves with correct first-aid treatment for snake bites after a number of recent incidents.

"Your first step in any situation is to follow the DRSABCD action plan," St John training manager Darryl Clare said.

This involves checking for danger and a response from the victim, sending for help, ensuring the victim's airway and breathing are not impeded, and if necessary performing CPR and defibrillation.

The next step is to apply a pressure bandage over the bite and try to calm the victim down.

"Ensure the casualty is relaxed as much as possible, reassure them that everything will be ok - this will slow down the time it takes for the venom to go through the body," Mr Clare said.

Mr Clare also says it is important to note as much information as possible, such as the time of the bite and the description of the snake.

"If you are unsure what type of snake bit your casualty, always call triple zero for an ambulance," he said.