Snakebite in Thailand – What To Do?

If you don’t have a bite right now, go get a copy of our latest book – Is That Snake In Your House Dangerous? It will help you identify dangerous snakes within about 5 minutes. Includes detailed snakebite first aid instructions.

You can call me if you have a snakebite, but I would rather you wait until you are AT THE HOSPITAL. Get someone to take you there first. My phone is: 090.157.8804. I’m in Krabi, or north of Bangkok. I have 16 years of experience with snakes of Thailand and I’ve lived here for 18 years.


  1. Ensure you are a safe distance from the snake that bit you. Remember key details – color, pattern, head shape.
  2. Call an ambulance or alert a friend or neighbor quickly that you have been bitten.
  3. Don’t panic. Between 30% to 50% of bites by venomous snakes contain very little or no venom.
  4. Keep the bitten area from moving. Do not use the muscles close to the bite, keep the area very still.
  5. Go to a large hospital quickly. Even if you don’t have immediate symptoms, it is better to reach a medical facility which can help as soon as possible. While most snakebite venom takes hours to cause considerable damage, some can act much faster. You should TREAT EVERY SNAKEBITE AS A VENOMOUS BITE, until you’ve been notified otherwise.
  6. If you are absolutely sure the snake that bit you was a COBRA, KING COBRA, KRAIT, or KEELBACK you must wrap the bitten limb starting with the lowest part of the limb and wrapping upward as far as possible. The tension in the wrap should be tight enough to compress the limb, and you should still be able to slide a finger under the bandage after wrapping. DO NOT MAKE A TOURNIQUET and stop all circulation. Wrap with a medical bandage, torn towel, or other material cut or ripped into strips.
  7. If you are absolutely sure the snake that bit you was a PIT VIPER – DO NOT WRAP OR TOUCH THE BITE SITE AT ALL.
  8. If you are not sure which snake bit you, don’t touch the bite site, just focus on reaching a hospital within 10 minutes.

If you begin to feel any of the following symptoms, begin wrapping the bite site:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • eyelids drooping
  • dizziness
  • collapse
  • convulsions
  • difficulty breathing, swallowing, or speaking

8. Reach the hospital as soon as possible and describe or draw the snake if possible.

Initial First Aid Instructions for ELAPID BITES (Cobras, Kraits, Coral Snakes, and Keelbacks (colubrid))

Initial First Aid Instructions for NAJA GENUS COBRAS (Monocled, Equatorial Spitting, Siamese Spitting)

Initial First Aid Instructions for VIPER BITES (Siamese Viper, Green and Brown Pit Vipers)

Initial First Aid Instructions for SNAKE VENOM SPRAYED IN EYES (Cobras)


CALL ME (Vern Lovic, owner of 090.157.8804 when you are at the hospital. I may be able to help.

Snake Bite Kits? Scam, and Dangerous – Info Here >


  1. I imagine that identifying the snake is very important. However, if you are bitten by a snake that disappears into the brush and yoiu cannot identify color, patterns or head shape, should you risk a second bite to try to identify it? should others venture the risk in order to identify it. If it were your child that was bitten, would you personally risk being bitten to identify the snake that bit your child? thanks

    1. Don’t waste any time, just get to the hospital. The hospital treats symptoms as they arise. It’s helpful to know the snake or be able to Identify it in photos, but it will be figured out pretty quickly as the symptoms progress. If envenomation occurred at all, there will be symptoms of neurotoxic venom or cytotoxic venom, which will then be treated. The important part is get to a large public hospital quickly in case life-support is needed as in the case of severe cobra or krait bites.

  2. I have been bitten on a finger (very small bite and at first I thought it didn’t break the skin but the briefly saw 2 little blood spot) by a small 20-30cm golden tree or paradise snake. I know it is considered mild venomous and non dangerous to human and so far almost 1h after I don’t feel any symptoms. I just disinfected the wound. Should I go to the hospital anyway?
    After how long can I consider I am out of risk?

    1. As far as I have ever heard (in 15 years) there is no risk to human beings at all. The wound may get infected later, but that has nothing to do with the weak venom. You’ll be fine. Cheers!

  3. Should sea snake bites be treated like elapid bites or pit viper bites?

    1. Good question, and I don’t know anything about the venom except I’ve always heard it is neurotoxic. Are there any sea snakes with different venom compounds? Not sure!

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