By Tamzin France – Program Administrator, Northern Territory.
In May this year, Sports Medicine Australia (SMA) hosted a free workshop in Darwin: ‘Snake Bites in the NT: Causes, Preventions and Treatment.’ The workshop was presented by Chris Peberdy, a reptile wrangler for over 15 years and an educator at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre on Top End snakes and reptiles.
The evening started with some theory around statistics on snake bite incidents and fatalities, and how snake venom affects the body. Chris then highlighted some real-life case studies within the Darwin region, including an incident at a Darwin sporting venue.
Some of the more common venomous snakes found in the Top End of the Territory, were also discussed, including species found in Darwin suburbs and rural surrounds. Chris also brought along a live Brown Mulga; one of the world’s longest venomous snakes.
An important part of the evening was discussion around management of snake bites. When managed quickly and effectively, this can greatly improve survival rates. Chris demonstrated pressure immobilization techniques and encouraged participants to practice using smart bandages. These are heavy compression bandages with small rectangles along them which become square when correct tension is applied. Many attendees were surprised at how much tension is actually needed in order to be effective.
The evening finished with a cuddle from Olivia, the Olive Python, for any of those game to get close enough. Clearly, I wasn’t one of them.
Special thanks to the Northern Territory Government for supporting this event.
If you missed out on this event, be sure to come along to our monthly professional development series held in Darwin in the coming months. These events will have an interactive focus, aimed at empowering the local sporting community.
Feedback from attendees:
“ …it was very informative, and the information was valuable.”
“Awesome info session.”
“Was hands-down the most interesting presentation…., it was unique, informative and challenging for those who aren’t keen on snakes, but should be compulsory for any of us covering sport particularly in rural and remote.”